What a timely forum topic.
As s research divers for the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association, my husband and I stay in close contact with Florida Fish and Wildlife personnel. Two lionfish have been found in Pensacola, which is about 120 miles away from our reefs. We have been put on alert to collect any lionfish we find and preserve them for DNA sampling. I want other divers in the northern Gulf of Mexico, or any other areas where lionfish invasions are new, to be aware of the request below:
10/12/10: James Morris, NOAA wrote: Hi Jon -- That is correct. I would very much like to get additional lionfish tissue samples from the N. Gulf of Mexico. I am attempting to collect 100 lionfish tissue samples during the first year of the lionfish invasion in each region. I only have one sample from the Northern Gulf of Mexico which is the sample provided by Turpin.Thanks in advance for any assistance.
James A. Morris, Jr., Ph.D., Ecologist
Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research
National Ocean Service, NOAA
101 Pivers Island Rd, Beaufort, NC 28516
Wk 252.728.8782, Cell 252.728.0213, Fax: 252.728.8784
Lionfish page: http://www.ccfhr.noaa.gov/stressors/lionfish.aspx