The Malta Independent 9 March 2021, Tuesday

Lionfish recorded in Tunisian waters, further confirming its presence in Central Med

Thursday, 20 October 2016, 07:56 Last update: about 5 years ago

Alarm bells have been rung in Sicily and Tunisia as the Lionfish, which had already been reported in Maltese waters in July this year by the Conservation Biology Research Group of the University of Malta, was also reported in Tunisian waters in summer 2015. 

This further confirms that the alien Lionfish did manage to travel from Cyprus in 2014 and 2015, to the Central Mediterranean soon afterwards.


The local research group, led by Dr Adriana Vella has been active in accurately identifying alien and local species morphologically and genetically too. Through this detailed research it is possible to understand how the increasing abundance of alien species may impact on local reef fish species and fisheries. 

As the research group has also worked with most local artisanal and recreational fishermen, the researchers are making available their expertise to fishermen providing relevant information on each of the strange marine organisms caught.  This is a very useful collaboration that allows for fishermen to understand better this changing sea, while researchers contribute to new knowledge to assist fishermen deal with these changes.

Also as indicated by the notice to mariners issued by the Transport Malta, anyone sighting or coming into contact with alien species should contact Dr Adriana Vella as part of this useful ongoing long-term research work.

Dr Vella can be contacted on: [email protected]

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