Lionfish are native to the Pacific and Indian oceans. But the animal has established itself in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, where its invasive presence poses a serious threat to tropical Atlantic reefs and their associated habitats.
One study found that, in only five weeks, a single lionfish reduced the juvenile fish in its feeding zone by 80 percent. To compound the problem, lionfish are also reproductive champions; every few days, a female can release around 25,000 eggs.
Communities throughout the Caribbean are employing a number of strategies to stem the growth of lionfish populations. In Bonaire, they rely on volunteer lionfish hunters.
You can read more about the rapid spread of the lionfish and what one island is doing to stem the onslaught in The New York Times.