A THREAT TO ECOSYSTEM
Have you heard of this most dreaded sea creature, lionfish? For the first time in the history of school essays, this essay brings to limelight the aquatic predator – most venomous!
What is mean by Ecosystem? It is the study of plants, creatures and animals in a particular area on the earth and in waters. We have read and seen these species, including jelly fish in the few TV channels. But only in the recent days it was discovered that there exists another pretty but poisonous sea creature – the lion fish!
Why is it called so? Like the ferocious lion in the jungle, are these fish the king of marine life? Not at all! Like lion that has thick mane around its neck, these lionfish have fanlike fins. Hence the marine biologists call them so. Though this fish was spotted a decade ago only at a particular spot in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, of late, it began colonizing in large numbers in the Atlantic Ocean also.
Peter Benchley, the author of the most popular books and movies, “Jaws, Jaws I to 3,” said that fish, like sharks, are territorial. But this lionfish is an exemption to this unwritten marine life. It is reckoned that the hurricane Andrew, category 5 storm that packed a sucker punch of 250 km/ph wind speed must have displaced this fish from their origin to the distance of over 16,000 kilometers!
But the lionfish can accommodate themselves anywhere in the blue. They are very quick at snapping up their prey, mostly small fish in large quantity and swallow them in one neat gulp.
With rainbow- like multi colour and striped mark as that of a tiger’s body, 18 inches long, needle sharp spines, it is, indeed, rather pretty. Its enormous eating habits raised the eyebrows of the microbiologist and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Since no other sea creatures eat these lionfish, its population keeps swelling as one female fish releases about 2 million eggs in one year. Besides, lionfish eat over 80 percent of the small fish and the coral reefs as well, that is destroying the ecosystem. Thus, it has become a serious concern of all, especially to the Marine Conservation Agency to stop their growing population.
Unless the lionfish are wiped out thoroughly, it remains a threat to the ecosystem.
Another suggestion was also considered to catch them alive, and remove the sharp pines from their body. The poison would be neutralized if cooked It was experimented to this effect. After frying the fish, lime juice and minced garlic added to it to make it tasty.
In the past, some fishermen of the Caribbean islands were stung by this lionfish. The nagging pain was intolerable. It amounted to paralysis, convulsion nausea and breathing problem, too. However, now few restaurants in the Bahamas roped in lionfish dinner in their menu.
The attempt to quell this school of fish is still in progress. Who will win the battle? Only time will give permanent solution to preserve the ecosystem effectively.