Pamela J. Schofield, Ph. D. Research Fishery Biologist/USGS has stated:
"The spread of lionfish through the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico is unprecedented and remarkably rapid. For example, lionfish blanketed the Caribbean in three short years.
Invasive species like lionfish constitute a type of biological pollution that is armed to invade, threatening the peace of our coastal ecosystems. By consuming and competing with native species, these fishes pose a grave and growing danger. They will continue to proliferate and spread unless they are actively controlled. Lionfish could potentially reconfigure the ecological balance of our coastal ecosystems, attacking the fisheries and tourism industries, as well as the natural balance of nature. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic."
From the TV Series titled “Oceans Blue” aired August 2010
After a recent dive witnessing lionfish on an Atlantic reef:
Narrator: “Fish native to these waters for thousands of years are now being wiped out…”
Philippe Cousteau: “This is BAD NEWS for the health of this ecosystem! BAD NEWS for potentially important fish and the other creatures that live here… that are part of the natural order of this food chain.
Narrator: “With no enemies, their numbers are exploding! From just a handful twenty years ago, there now may be as many as a million lionfish in the Atlantic.
Philippe Cousteau: “…They were everywhere…you know, I was looking for grouper…I was looking for parrot fishes…just keeping my eye out for things that should be here and I didn’t see any of them in the abundance that I saw lionfish…That’s VERY WORRYING!
Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary Superintendent Sean Morton: "Eating lionfish is a conservation activity. We are its only known predator in the Atlantic. Through dedicated diver-based removal efforts and consumption of lionfish as a food source, we can control its establishment."
Director of Special Projects (REEF) Lad Akins: "By working together and focusing our efforts, we have the opportunity to control the impact of lionfish in the Atlantic, Gulf, and Carribbean. Early detection rapid response, outreach and awareness, removal and control strategies, and research to develop novel control efforts are all critical parts of our program."