lionfish3 Lionfish Have Been Discovered in the Gulf of Mexico, Just Off Southwest Florida!

Lionfish

They are poisonous, alien, and they have just been discovered (yet again) a little too close for comfort, in the Gulf of Mexico just off the shores of Southwest Florida.

Two young lionfish have been reeled in by Florida fisheries scientists this past week by two different fishing expeditions, one 99 miles from the coast, and the other 160 miles off the coast, just a tad north of the Dry Tortugas, and a little bit west of Cape Romano. This news was reported by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research institute in a conference.

This is the first time that lionfish have been discovered in Gulf waters north of the Tortugas and the Yucatan Peninsula.

Researchers have said that these lionfish were the product of either a spawning population on the West Florida continental shelf, or ,and everyone is hoping for this explanation, that the lionfish were carried there by ocean currents from other spawning areas.

Whatever the reason, this just might mean that the lionfish are spreading out in the eastern Gulf, scientists have cautioned.

These particular lionfish, which were measured to be in the neihborhood of 2 and a half inches long, were discovered at 183 feet and 240 feet below the seemingly calm waters of the area.

Before they were reeled in last week, lionfish had been spotted in the Tampa Bay area, Atlantic coastal waters, and even in the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas.

What makes this so interesting is that the lionfish generally makes its home in the reefs and other rocky crevices of the Indo-Pacific, explains the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.