By Halil Fidan
IZMIR, Turkey (AA) – Native to the south Pacific and Indian Oceans, the invasive lionfish has made a recent journey to its new ecosystem off the coast of Turkey’s Aegean Sea.
Ilker Aydin, a professor at the Department of Fisheries at Izmir’s Ege University, told Anadolu Agency that biological invasion is one of the most important problems of this era.
The introduction of non-native species into new ecosystems threatens biodiversity and ecosystem components, he said.
Aydin caught the lionfish in the Aegean Sea as part of his ongoing project and published an international article on it.
He said the lionfish, which is mostly seen in the Mediterranean Sea due to global warming and climate change, was lastly seen at the Edremit Gulf in Turkey’s Balikesir province.
The biological invasions, Aydin said, harm not only the ecosystem but also have economic and health-related results.
The professor stated that increasing human influence on nature increase the number of non-native invasive species entering the Mediterranean Sea.
Briefing about the lionfish, Aydin said it lives in warm waters, eats fish smaller than itself, and it does not give a chance to other species to live by, especially by dominating the rocks.
He cited the rise in sea temperatures as the main factor for the entry of lionfish and many other invasive species into the Mediterranean Sea.