Lionfish – the new normal

Here at Seamonster we recently heard from marine conservation professor (and author of a great new book on the state of the oceans) Callum Roberts. He got in touch to send us a link from a website he recently found that gave a list of the “Top 10 most beautiful reefs in the world“.

Nothing unusual there. But scroll down to number 9 and you’ll see an familiar face in an unfamiliar place. There’s a portrait of a lionfish, representing Little Cayman…

The website describes Little Cayman as “One of the Caribbeans [sic] most untrammelled  and unspoiled destinations”. And you can also go there to spot “coral gardens, sea plumes, and many various species of tropical fish.”

Hmm, yes, “Many various” indeed.

Here’s what Callum had to say:

It is amazing how quickly altered environments come to be seen as normal. This picture was published in the article without comment, or irony, to depict the beauty of Cayman coral reefs. Perhaps we should all now come to accept lionfish as ‘Caribbean fish’, however unwelcome that thought might be, since there is no possibility of eliminating them now.

Photo by Alkok of a lionfish in the Red Sea (somewhere they should be).

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