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September 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 30, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the September, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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The Best Lionfish Weapon May Be . . . Lionfish? Florida Keys fisherman Gary Nichols has noticed something new: Lionfish are eating each other. "When you bring them up from the depths, lionfish spit out what's in their stomachs, and I noticed quite a few of them regurgitating other lionfish," he told National Geographic. He suspects lionfish eating shrimp and other crustaceans aren't satisfied by those small meals, so they're now preying on each other. DNA evidence in two studies has confirmed that lionfish in the Caribbean waters are engaging in cannibalism, and researchers are trying to determine if it's because they're depleting their existing food, like gobies and snapper. But Nova Southeastern University marine researcher Matthew Johnston doesn't think that's a cure . . . yet. "It would be interesting to see over time if there's an increase, because I think that would mean they're getting close to their carrying capacity for that area."...

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