Lionfish Invasion in the Mediterranean Sea

Researchers from Wageningen University (WUR) in the Netherlands, warn of an invasion of the lionfish in colder parts of the Mediterranean Sea. According to scientists, the unexpected territorial expansion of the fish poses a serious threat to biodiversity. 

From the study, published by WUR researchers in the scientific journal NeoBiota, it appears that the ray-finned fish began their invasion ten years ago. From the warmer eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, the lionfish rapidly expanded their territory.

As of 2024, the lionfish have established themselves in colder parts of the Mediterranean Sea. Previously, it was thought that these cold areas of the sea were not suitable for this species. Originally, these scorpionfish come from the Indo-Pacific region. 

The native fish in the Mediterranean Sea, many of which are also protected species, are not accustomed to lionfish and therefore do not flee.

This success factor of lionfish may have a downside for the great biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea. In that sea, more than 11,000 species of animals live, some of which only live there. Lionfish can profoundly influence the biodiversity in invaded areas, warn the WUR researchers.

The WUR said that not only lionfish can quickly adapt to new environments when asked. The fish could also become accustomed to lionfish and better defend themselves. We do expect an impact on biodiversity based on findings in the Caribbean. In the Mediterranean Sea, we will conduct further research on this.


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Daan van Dijken

Ten years ago, I started setting up a freshwater aquarium. Since then, I always have been fascinated by the underwater world. Together with my wife, we have been fortunate to discover this on many beautiful journeys and explored the magnificent underwater world through diving. In 2023, we have started a 60-liter saltwater aquarium. Soon, we realized that we wanted to further expand our saltwater aquarium hobby, so we switched to a Red Sea Peninsula 650. It's a fantastic aquarium that brings daily joy to me, my wife, and our daughter. I enjoy keeping up with the latest developments in the saltwater world and love exploring how to make my tank even smarter and easier to maintain. As a newcome, I would like to share all my experiences in setting up a saltwater aquarium with you!

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Stefan van Beek

Salt has always run in my blood. From birth, aquariums surrounded me, first at my grandfather's and later at my parents’ place. Now, at the age of 30, I've been able to set up my dream tank, a 160x70x70 peninsula. Corals hold the second spot for me; fish and the entire ecosystem are the reasons I have an aquarium. Nearly a decade ago, I started with my first aquarium, making plenty of mistakes and learning a great deal from them. Since 2021, I've been working at Ocean&Lake in the Netherlands, where I am now fully responsible for the saltwater department.

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