Regulatory News

Native to the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the lionfish (Pterois Volitans) has become a threat to the South Atlantic marine biodiversity. This brightly-colored species feeds on smaller fish and its stomach can expand up to 30 times its initial volume. It also reproduces easily and has no predators outside its local environment.

According to Silvia Ziller, director for Latin America’s Global Program of Invading Species (GISP), the introduction of exotic species represents the second cause of biodiversity loss on the planet, second only to the destruction caused by man.

Studies indicate the lionfish arrived on the South American coast when hurricane Andrew hit Florida at the end of last century. Between 199 and 2010, the species invaded the Caribbean Sea; the Gulf of Mexico; the coasts of Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia, and more recently, the coast of Venezuela. The fear is that now it will come to Brazil. To counter this, the Caribbean, for example has been practicing harpoon fishing of the lionfish.

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