Alien tang discovered in Florida


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A Mimic lemonpeel surgeonfish has been discovered swimming in the waters of Florida.

Acanthurus pyroferus is native to the Indo-Pacific and is the first of its kind documented in Florida.

It was spotted by divers in Palm Beach who realised the fish probably didn't belong there. They reported it to Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), which is a non-profit organisation that seeks to conserve marine ecosystems with the help of divers and marine enthusiasts.

The 10cm/4in fish was subsequently captured alive and transported to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada where it will be displayed to educate the public on the hazards of invasive species.

REEF's director of special projects, Lad Akins, told the Miami Herald: "Some people might say, 'Oh big deal, we took this little fish out of the water.' But that’s the way the lionfish got started. If only we could have taken the first few lionfish out of the water in the first place. We’re relying on divers, snorkelers and fishermen to be our eyes and ears on the water. It’s a perfect example of how early detection and rapid removal can be successful in stemming an invasion."