Lionfish culls are good news for native fish

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A study on the effects of lionfish culling in the Cayman Islands has shown it has a positive impact on reefs.

Results from two years of field studies on six dive sites off Little Cayman has shown that in areas where these invasive predators were systematically culled by divers there were 70% more native fish, with far greater numbers and a wider range of species, compared to those sites where the lionfish were left alone.

A previous study by Central Caribbean Marine Institute (which also led this one) and the University of Florida, showed lionfish numbers were consistently lower in areas where they were regularly speared by divers to control them, but this new research shows the positive effect the culling is having on other species of fish.

An average lionfish can munch its way through 60,000 reef fish before the age of two. They have no natural predators and breed prolifically.

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