The Lionfish Invasion

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When I was around ten years old, my brother and I went on a sailing trip with our grandfather. On the trip, we sailed along the southern coast of North America all the way to Florida. Every time we would stop I would grab my fishing rod and a bag of smelly decaying bait shrimp. When we arrived to Florida, we dropped anchor near Key West right by an amazing reef. I can still remember the vibrant colors of the coral in the crystal clear water. I have always loved snorkeling, and everyday we were there, I would swim down to the reef and look at all the beautiful fish. There was a fish that stood out among the others that I had never seen before. No matter how hard I fished for this striped winged fish, I could not seem to get the fish to bite.…show more content…
Scott Harrell the cofounder of the World Lionfish Hunters Association said in his article, “We are only just beginning to understand the consequences of the lionfish invasion at this point, even the scientists that have been studying the non-native lionfish for two decades are having a really tough time even articulating what the landscape of our local oceans and seas are going to look like ten short years from now” (Harrell). I have seen first hand what an invasive species can do to a natural habitat in ten years and it is not a pretty sight. The same problem occurs with the Alligator Snakehead, a fresh water invasive species, which is taking over game fish habitats. I, with many other conservationists, believe that we should eradicate as many invasive species as possible. Methods have been used in freshwater by taking all the oxygen from the water where snakeheads have been found. This method, however, kills all fish and life in the water. Once desolate like the reef oxygen, is reintroduced to the water and game and prey fish are released. With time, the area of water will return to being thriving and alive filled with game fish. On land, invasive species such as the wild boar are taking over Texas lands and hurting commercial industries. As conservationists, some of us are for targeting invasive species and some against. Mrs. Desonie states that “The number of alien species found around the world is growing exponentially as remote places become more accessible and…show more content…
“Two million to six million of the animals are wreaking havoc in at least 39 states and four Canadian provinces; half are in Texas, where they do some $400 million in damages annually. They tear up recreational areas, occasionally even terrorizing tourists in state and national parks, and squeeze out other wildlife” (Morthland). Feral hog sows can have two litters with around eight piglets each time two times a year. Mike Boone a Texas Game Warden says, “Among all invasive land species feral hogs are the worst, and they can destroy an entire crop in one night” (Boone). Feral hogs are extremely intelligent, which makes them even harder to hunt and trap. “In the 1930s, Eurasian wild boars were brought to Texas and released for hunting” (Morthland). These Eurasian boars have since then bred with feral and domestic pigs in Texas. The hybrid created from Eurasian boars and feral hogs is a very intelligent and deadly creature. Mike Boone stated that, “I have seen many times a pig eat all the corn around a trap, but never go in (Boone). Feral Hog’s razor sharp tusks can get to five inches long to slice through roots or flesh. Most wild hogs average around 100 to 250 pounds and can run up to 30 mph in short distances, making wild boars a substantial threat to anything or anyone unable of defending themselves. I myself have had a few close encounters with this powerful beast. One early morning this past deer season
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