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The Lionfish also recorded in Tunisian waters, further confirming its presence in the Central Mediterranean

22 October 2016

Alarm in Sicily and Tunisia as the Lionfish, which was already reported in Maltese waters in July this year by the Conservation Biology Research Group of the University of Malta, was also reported in Tunisian waters in summer 2015. This further confirms that the alien Lionfish did manage to travel from Cyprus in 2014 & 2015, to the Central Mediterranean soon afterwards.

The local research group, led by Dr. Adriana Vella, PhD has been active in accurately identifying alien and local species morphologically and genetically too. Through this detailed research it is possible to understand how the increasing abundance of alien species may impact on local reef fish species and fisheries.

As this research group has also worked with most local artisanal and recreational fishermen, the researchers are making available their expertise to fishermen providing relevant information on each of the strange marine organisms caught. This is a very useful collaboration that allows for fishermen to understand better this changing sea, while researchers contribute to new knowledge to assist fishermen deal with these changes.

Also as indicated by the notice to mariners issued by the Transport Malta, any one sighting or coming in to contact with alien species should contact Dr. Adriana Vella as part of this useful ongoing long-term research work.

Link to the notice to mariners:
http://www.transport.gov.mt/admin/uploads/media-library/files/Not%2061%20of%202016.pdf

For further information contact:
adriana.vella@um.edu.mt
Mob 99429592