Common lionfish on a wreck

Seven common lionfish on a wreck in North Carolina.

The lionfish population (Pterois volitans) in North Carolina is still alive and well - unfortunately. This invasive species was first spotted in Florida in the mid-1980s. It reached the Bahamas in the mid 1990s and the Carolinas by 2000. Lionfish are voracious predators and alter the population dynamics of native marine species. They are the worst marine invaders to affect the western Atlantic to date.