Invasive fish species have been spreading significantly in the Greek seas in recent years.
Growing numbers of the silverstriped blaasop have been recorded off Crete, the southern Peloponnese and in the southern Dodecanese.
The lionfish has now been recorded in locations as disparate as Lesvos in the Aegean and Corfu in the Ionian.
The silverstriped blaasop is difficult to catch and poses a threat to coastal fishing as it destroys nets and longlines. What’s more, it carries the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin.
On the other hand, lionfish are gaining ground as a fish worth catching and adding to Mediterranean cuisine.
The research program by the Hellenic Center for Marine Research for the silverstriped blaasop and the lionfish is called Lionhare, and is funded by the European Union-subsidized National Strategic Reference Framework and will last until the spring of 2023.