A lionfish invasion would impact heavily the environment and the local fishing living economy
The Pterois miles or lionfish, is a scorpionfish species from the Indian Ocean which is progressing in the Mediterranean and may well become the dominant species in some years, as it has already done in other waters.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has confirmed that Pterois miles, or lionfish, was seen off Turkey and Cyprus. Fears that the invasive and aggressive species threatening local ecosystems are real, as it has grown in five years in the Caribbean, destroying the balance of the local marine ecosystem after being accidentally introduced around 2007. “This species may cause a significant negative impact on both ecosystems and local economies”, said Dr. Carlos Jimenez of the Cyprus Institute, the expert cited by the IUCN.
900 exotic species are colonizing the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal
The first specimen of lionfish have been observed since 1991, offshore Israel. And lately along the Lebanese and Tunisian coasts, according to the IUCN scientists. Furthermore, according to a Swedish study of 2011, more than 900 exotic species are colonizing the Mediterranean Sea, through the Suez Canal.
The Mediterranean offers an ideal hunting ground for these invasive species which find perfect conditions to flourish and quickly become dominant to the disadvantage of local endemic species.