Lionfish reported in Maltese waters

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A lionfish was reportedly caught in Maltese waters. The report has alarmed Professor Alan Deidun who posted on social media urging the person who reportedly caught the fish or those who have a good photo of the specimen to come forward.

The person who will provide photos or the fish to Deidun will be awarded an underwater camera or the equivalent value in cash.

Speaking to Professor Deidun explained that the lionfish is an invasive alien species that reproduces quickly. He added that it does not have a natural predator and can cause harm to local fauna. He said that he was surprised upon hearing reports that the fish was in Maltese waters despite reports of sightings in Greece.

Professor Deidun added that if the reports are confirmed, it would still be surprising on how the fish made its way to Malta since it is known that the lionfish is rather a slow swimmer and would therefore take years before it could reach Maltese waters.

The marine biologist did not exclude the possibility that someone might have owned one and let it loose into the sea.

While the lionfish can be consumed, its spiky fin rays are venomous. The lionfish possibly entered the Mediterranean sea through the Suez Canal.