Lionfish beyond reach of divers worry researchers

Published On: Jul 16 2013 09:52:19 AM EDT

Divers in Florida and the Caribbean are encouraged to capture and eat any lionfish they encounter to protect reefs and native marine life already burdened by pollution, over-fishing and the effects of climate change.

Recreational divers max out around 130 feet, though. Researchers and wildlife officials rarely have the means to go looking for lionfish deeper than that, but they've realized the lionfish they can't see may be their biggest concern.

Last month, Seattle-based OceanGate Inc. offered scientists and wildlife officials a close-up look at the invasive deep in the waters off South Florida.

Those who took the dives aboard the submersible Antipodes surfaced believing they had seen the frontier in their fight against lionfish. The next problem: routinely making similar dives to study and perhaps capture lionfish.

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