Lionfish Invades Crete for the First Time

LIONFISH

The poisonous lionfish was located for the first time in the sea region of Agios Panteleimonas in Crete, Lassithi. The Cretan Aquarium of the Greek Center for Marine Research announced the appearance of the tropical fish, otherwise known as pterois miles or devil firefish. It had first appeared in Rhodes in the summer of 2015 after it was believed to have made its way to the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal.

The first lionfish to have made its way to the waters off the coast of Crete was found by a professional fisherman Harilaos Frangakis who alerted the Cretan Aquarium, whose staff members transported it to their facilities while the fish was still alive.

The fish is commonly found in the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, South Africa and east of Sumatra. It is known to multiply rapidly.

Authorities urge swimmers and fishermen to be cautious as the lionfish has venomous spines that inject a powerful protein-based toxin into their prey. The Cretan Aquarium also thanks the fisherman who immediately alerted experts to its existence and urges others who spot a lionfish to do the same so as to collect the fish for further study.