Lionfish may be getting cheaper soon. A.K.A. Trottie won't be visiting New York...


Movin' on Up

Lionfish threaten Long Island waters
GARDEN CITY, N.Y., Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Scientists are investigating how a flamboyant tropical fish native to the Pacific Ocean is surviving in the chilly waters off New York's Long Island.

Divers have captured hundreds of lionfish this summer in what a biologist terms "a population explosion," The New York Times reports.

Known for its brightly colored stripes and multitude of venomous spines, the lionfish is a voracious eater and could pose a threat to indigenous fish, the newspaper said.

Todd R. Gardner, a biologist at Atlantis Marine World aquarium in Riverhead, N.Y., discovered lionfish were spawning in the Atlantic five years ago when he found one clinging to a dock piling by Fire Island. The Times said Gardner has been studying them since then along with biologist Paula Whitfield of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Besides threatening Long Island's shellfish and fin fish, humans can receive a painful sting from the spines of a lionfish.


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Sharks in Ga. aquarium eat other exhibits
ATLANTA, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Great hammerhead sharks in the Georgia Aquarium's Ocean Voyager tank have been giving some visitors a peep at natural behavior by eating cownose rays.

The 6.2 million-gallon tank in Atlanta stocked with about 85,000 fish is designed to give a snapshot of life in the ocean. Its inhabitants include four whale sharks -- the world's largest fish -- and smaller specimens like grouper, snapper, the cownose rays and a 7-foot hammerhead.

While aquarium staff discourage predators like the hammerhead from eating their neighbors by hand-feeding them several times a week, they say it is difficult to estimate the food needs and wants of a growing hammerhead, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. A female hammerhead died in the tank, apparently from hitting her head on a rock while in pursuit of prey.

Tim Binder, director of husbandry at the aquarium, said that life in the Ocean Voyager tank involves birth and death just like life in the real ocean, the report said. While the hammerheads are believed to have eaten about 10 rays, a bonnethead shark has given birth and a spider crab laid eggs, while a Pacific octopus died of natural causes.