Invasive Lionfish Populations Increasing?

ABC/NBC news story depicting the high numbers of invasive Lionfish TISIRI Divers encountered.

Check out the full news story at the news website here.

Invasive Lionfish have been found offshore the coast of northeast Florida for some time now in substantial populations. However more recently we have heard rumors of high concentrations being encountered in certain regions. To verify we decided to investigate these regions first hand. TISIRI scuba divers Ed Kalakauskis, Nate Tucei, Joe Kistel, and Thomas Napolitano visited three locations on Friday and were overwhelmed with what they encountered. Each diver confirmed that this was the highest concentrations of Lionfish they have encountered off the north Florida coast to date. Below is a brief sample video clip of some of the Lionfish encountered.

In the video you see a high concentration of Lionfish around a natural ledge habitat. The fish seemed to aggregate near the portions of the ledge with dramatic overhangs. Diver Nate Tucei removed as many lionfishfish as he could with his pole spear and lionfish containment unit while Ed Kalakauskis attempted to capture live Lionfish for Jacksonville University's marine science center. Joe Kistel was the underwater cinematographer capturing the footage you see in the clip.

For comparison here is Lionfish footage captured in the northern Gulf recently showing the high concentrations there.

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