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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish

The voracious and invasive lionfish is taking over the Atlantic. Here’s why.

One of the most notorious invasive species around, the lionfish, is known for its voracious appetite and can literally eat its competitors out of an ecosystem. And that’s what the striking fish is doing, feasting its way through waters that stretch from the Gulf of Mexico to the Eastern Seaboard.

Now, scientists and startups are crafting methods for capturing and killing the hungry invaders. But while these new ideas show promise, tried-and-true spearfishing seems to be the most effective way to eradicate lionfish, scientists told Live Science.

“It’s actually hard to describe how a lionfish eats because they do it in a split second,” said Kristen Dahl, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Florida. Lionfish use a complex series of tactics that no other fish in the world is known to employ. In the blink of an eye, a lionfish goes from silently hovering above its prey to flaring its fins, firing a disorienting jet of water from its mouth, unhinging its jaw and swallowing its meal whole, scientists reported in a study published in 2012 in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series. The attacks happen so quickly that nearby fish don’t seem to notice.

“It’s actually nice when I’m looking at gut contents,” Dahl said, “because if something has been freshly eaten, it’s in immaculate condition.”

New fish on the block

Lionfish (Pterois volitans) are one of the most notorious invasive species in the United States. Their bold colors and frilly fins make lionfish popular in the aquarium trade; over the past 25 years or so, it seems aquarium fish owners have sometimes dumped unwanted lionfish — which are native to the Indo-Pacific region — into the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Their popularity in the aquarium trade has also spurred several breeding programs.

Lionfish are fast and powerful, but their biggest advantage is novelty. Atlantic prey fish simply don’t know what’s going on. Biologists call this phenomenon prey naivete, and they believe it is largely responsible for the lionfish’s dramatic success as an invader.

Since the first breeding populations were spotted off the coast of North Carolina in 2000, lionfish have rapidly overtaken coastal environments in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

“Sightings increased rapidly in 2004 along the Atlantic seaboard of the United States,” according to Pam Schofield, research fishery biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey.

“Lionfish sightings quickly spread throughout the Caribbean and then the Gulf of Mexico,” Schofield, who tracks non-native marine fish in U.S. waters, told Live Science. There are now breeding populations in the coastal waters of Venezuela, throughout the coastal Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. On the Eastern Seaboard, breeding populations extend into North Carolina, and stray individuals are seen as far north as Massachusetts, Schofield said. Reports of lionfish sightings have tapered off since their peak in 2010, but that’s probably not because their populations have decreased — lionfish are so pervasive that spotting one is no longer noteworthy.

Managing an invasion

Lionfish aren’t easily caught when traditional fishing techniques are used, so a number of research groups and startup companies are developing novel tools for managing the invasion. These include specially designed traps that lure in lionfish while sparing native species, remotely operated vehicles that allow a human pilot to remotely spear lionfish and autonomous hunting vehicles that use artificial intelligence to find the fish themselves. While some progress has been made in new technologies, spear guns used by scuba divers still seem to be the tool that’s most effective tool at killing them, Dahl said.

Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a leader in lionfish management, has a number of incentive programs to entice recreational and commercial scuba divers to harvest lionfish, according to the FWC. The lionfish derby is one of the most successful management tools being used today. At a derby, spearfishing divers spend a day working together to remove as many lionfish as they can. At the larger derbies, organizers award prizes to the teams or individuals who catch the biggest, smallest or most lionfish. “The derbies are a good opportunity to educate people about the lionfish and about the danger of releasing aquarium fish into the wild,” Dahl said. She’s worked and volunteered at dozens of derbies. “If enough people learn about this invasion, maybe there won’t be another ‘lionfish.'”

Culling lionfish one by one will never eliminate the species from the Atlantic, but it can help mitigate their effects. While a single lionfish can eat a lot of native fauna, lionfish wreak havoc on a reef only after their populations reach a certain density, researchers reported in 2014 in the journal Ecological Applications. And the incentives seem to be working. At a handful of popular dive sites in the Florida Keys, recreational divers are so diligent in culling invasive lionfish that it is unusual to see a single one, according to several dive tour operators.

Scientists knew from the start that population growth would eventually taper off as lionfish populations reach the point at which there’s no more food or habitat to support additional individuals. But the number of lionfish in parts of the Gulf of Mexico where Dahl and her colleagues have tracked their populations for several years have actually declined. It’s too early to say what’s behind the change, but Dahl points to a poorly understood parasitic skin lesion that “has put a dent in their population.”

Now, less than two decades since the invasion began, ecologists are still trying to learn enough about lionfish to manage the new invasion.


”We’re not sure if [the population decline] is going to last or if it’s a boom-bust population cycle,” Dahl said. “It could be a little bit of both. We aren’t really sure.”

Originally published on Live Science

Westlake Legal Group lionfish-shutterstock The voracious and invasive lionfish is taking over the Atlantic. Here's why. LiveScience Grant Currin fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fnc/science fnc cbe02811-3939-50e0-9e8b-15d6ef3eb2ed article   Westlake Legal Group lionfish-shutterstock The voracious and invasive lionfish is taking over the Atlantic. Here's why. LiveScience Grant Currin fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fnc/science fnc cbe02811-3939-50e0-9e8b-15d6ef3eb2ed article

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Scientists monitoring marine heat wave off West Coast which could disrupt ecosystem

Westlake Legal Group salmon-ocean- Scientists monitoring marine heat wave off West Coast which could disrupt ecosystem Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/us/environment/water fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/science/planet-earth/water fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fox news fnc/science fnc article 54204d59-0316-5f7c-b5b0-3072996d5316

Government scientists said Thursday they are monitoring a new ocean heat wave off the West Coast which could badly disrupt marine life.

Five years ago, an expansion of warm ocean water nicknamed “the Blob” by scientists disrupted the marine ecosystem off the West Coast. Now, a similar expanse of abnormally warm water positioned in the same area has threatened to do the same.

The 2014 heat wave saw temperatures spike seven degrees Fahrenheit above average. It led to poor returns on young salmon, more humpback whales becoming entangled in fishing gear as they swam closer to shore, the stranding of young sea lions on the California coast, and an algal bloom that shut down crabbing and clamming in the Pacific Ocean.

RARE, TWO-HEADED RATTLESNAKE FOUND IN NEW JERSEY ‘PROBABLY WOULDN’T SURVIVE IN THE WILD’

This 2019 heat wave has already seen temperatures rise five degrees above normal.

“It’s on a trajectory to be as strong as the prior event,” said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research scientist Andrew Leising, who has developed a system for tracking and measuring heat waves.

FARMERS CONCERNED OVER HOW MANDATORY WATER CUTS FROM COLORADO RIVER WILL IMPACT AGRICULTURE

The warm expanse stretching from Alaska to California is the second most expansive marine heat wave in the last 40 years. Cold water welling up from the depths of the ocean has helped to hold off the warm expanse. But, due to forecasted coastal winds, the upwelling is likely to subdue in the autumn, allowing the heat wave to settle in. It could even move onshore and affect coastal areas, which appears to have already happened along the coast of Washington, according to NOAA.

NOAA fisheries are monitoring on the heat wave, named the “Northeast Pacific Marine Heat wave of 2019,” with the goal of informing managers how the unusually warm conditions could affect their stocks.

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A marine heat wave is not necessarily a direct result of climate change. The causes could include a persistent low-pressure weather pattern that weakens the winds that otherwise mix and cool surface waters, according to NOAA research scientist Nathan Mantua. It’s unclear what’s causing the low-pressure pattern; it could be the earth’s disorderly motion or it could be related to ocean warming or other effects of human-made climate change, Mantua said.

It’s unclear whether this new heat wave will stick around long enough to cause major damage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group salmon-ocean- Scientists monitoring marine heat wave off West Coast which could disrupt ecosystem Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/us/environment/water fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/science/planet-earth/water fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fox news fnc/science fnc article 54204d59-0316-5f7c-b5b0-3072996d5316   Westlake Legal Group salmon-ocean- Scientists monitoring marine heat wave off West Coast which could disrupt ecosystem Morgan Phillips fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/us/environment/water fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/science/planet-earth/water fox-news/science/planet-earth/oceans fox news fnc/science fnc article 54204d59-0316-5f7c-b5b0-3072996d5316

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Hammerhead shark snatches catch from Florida fisherman’s hands, video shows

A Florida fisherman recorded video of his intense tug-of-war encounter with a huge hammerhead shark determined to steal his catch last week.

Rob Gorta, a fishing guide in the Tampa and St. Petersburg area for over 22 years, reeled in a tarpon that appeared to have bloody bite marks on its side.

With blood in the water, a hammerhead soon charged after the fish – and clearly didn’t plan on leaving emptyhanded.

CURIOUS ORCA SURPRISES FISHERMEN, SWIMS ALONGSIDE BOAT IN AMAZING VIDEO: ‘AWESOME DAY ON THE WATER’

“He just took it out of my hand!” Gorta could be heard yelling when the shark ripped the hooked fish from his grasp, in a video posted to his YouTube account.

Gorta and the shark battled in the waters off Anna Maria Island for the fish’s fate over the course of the 3-minute video. But, in the end, the hammerhead claimed its meal.

Westlake Legal Group Hammerhead-Shark-iStock Hammerhead shark snatches catch from Florida fisherman's hands, video shows Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/science/wild-nature/sharks fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc article 5101acc8-bdfc-5ac1-a311-92cf08816b67

A hammerhead, like the one pictured above, ripped a tarpon out of the hands of a fisherman. (iStock, File)

The charter captain told WFTS-TV that he desperately tried to unhook the tarpon to give the fish a chance to escape the shark. He estimated the predator measured 14 feet long and weighed over 1,000 pounds, according to WFLA-TV.

“I really felt bad for the fish, you know. They are an amazing fish, and I make a good living off of them,” Gorta told WFTS. “They are a lot of fun, and I have the utmost respect for them. There’s nothing I could really do to save that fish.”

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Gorta wrote he couldn’t take the fish aboard his boat because Florida laws prevented lifting tarpon out of the water. He added that it would have been dangerous to bring the 180-pound fish aboard a 22-foot bay boat.

It’s illegal to lift tarpon over 40 inches in length out of the water, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee has said. In 2013, the committee made tarpon catch-and-release only.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6074189373001_6074186317001-vs Hammerhead shark snatches catch from Florida fisherman's hands, video shows Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/science/wild-nature/sharks fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc article 5101acc8-bdfc-5ac1-a311-92cf08816b67   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6074189373001_6074186317001-vs Hammerhead shark snatches catch from Florida fisherman's hands, video shows Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/science/wild-nature/sharks fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc article 5101acc8-bdfc-5ac1-a311-92cf08816b67

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Giant whale shark lets Florida fisherman hitch a ride in amazing video

Westlake Legal Group whale20shark20iStock Giant whale shark lets Florida fisherman hitch a ride in amazing video Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/science/wild-nature/sharks fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox news fnc/science fnc article 6d344e5d-a411-519d-81cd-115d68b20742

Florida fishermen captured amazing video of their swim with a 30-foot whale shark off the coast of Tampa Bay over the weekend.

Captain Robert Holzinger told FOX13 Tampa he was spearfishing with a friend 30 miles out when they spotted the whale shark. The friends jumped in the water, which was about 80 feet deep, to record the “gentle giant.” Holzinger said they spent about an hour swimming with it.

GREAT WHITE SHARK STUNS FISHERMAN DURING REAL LIFE ‘JAWS’ MOMENT

The shark was estimated to be 20 feet long but Holzinger later told FOX4 the beast was 30 feet. He said the shark was friendly and allowed him to pet it.

Holzinger wrote on Facebook that he hoped that there would also be cobia – a scavenger fish that follows larger animals – but there weren’t any.

“When we realized there wasn’t we decided to swim and hang out with him for a while,” he told FOX13 Tampa. “It was truly a gift to be able to see and experience something like that.”

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The endangered whale shark is the largest type of shark – and largest of all fishes – and can be found in tropical waters, according to the World Wildlife Fund. They can weigh as much as 11 tons and stretch as long as 40 feet long.

The filter feeders typically eat plankton and are described as “gentle giants” that “sometimes allow swimmers to hitch a ride,” according to National Geographic.

Westlake Legal Group whale20shark20iStock Giant whale shark lets Florida fisherman hitch a ride in amazing video Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/science/wild-nature/sharks fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox news fnc/science fnc article 6d344e5d-a411-519d-81cd-115d68b20742   Westlake Legal Group whale20shark20iStock Giant whale shark lets Florida fisherman hitch a ride in amazing video Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/science/wild-nature/sharks fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox news fnc/science fnc article 6d344e5d-a411-519d-81cd-115d68b20742

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Bizarre clam eats rocks for breakfast

Rocks might not sound like a delectable meal to most life-forms, but it’s on the menu for a newly identified species of a plump, bizarre-looking clam.

However, though this clam consumes limestone, its discoverers aren’t sure if the creature snags any actual food from those rocks. For instance, do the bacteria in the clam’s gut help to break down the rock and release nutrients?

“We want to look at the symbionts, the bacteria that live inside these animals, to see if they are providing any nutrition, and this is an area of research we are currently focusing on,” said study lead researcher Reuben Shipway, a postdoctoral researcher at the Marine Science Center at Northeastern University in Massachusetts. [In Photos: Spooky Deep-Sea Creatures]

The newfound clam is a type of shipworm, the name for a group of clams so called because they devour wood, especially from ships. Wood is hard to eat, but adaptations help these clams burrow into the material; those adaptations include “small rows of small, sharp teeth on the shell and a special organ for wood storage and digestion, called the caecum,” Shipway told Live Science.

Every known shipworm eats wood, so Shipway and his colleagues were surprised when Philippine locals in Bohol province told them in 2018 about a freshwater shipworm that ate rocks. Locally, it’s known as “antingaw,” and young mothers eat it because they think it will help them lactate, he said. (The newfound species was noted in a recent expedition led by French biologist Philippe Bouchet at the Museum of Natural History in Paris, but it was the locals who helped the new team locate the mysterious shipworm, the researchers said.)

Unlike other shipworms, the newly named Lithoredo abatanica (which roughly means “rock shipworm from the Abatan River”) has lost all its wood-boring adaptations, including the caecum, Shipway said. Rather, this clam’s “shell has these really large, shovel-like projections for digging into rock,” he said.

The creature’s shell crunches the rock, which the animal then eats, digests and expels as a fine sand. “There are a small number of animals that do ingest rock — for example, birds use gizzard stones to aid digestion,” Shipway said. “But Lithoredo abatanica is the only known animal that eats rock through burrowing.”

He described the rock-eating clams as “pretty bizarre — they are plump, translucent, worm-like clams.” Most of the specimens the researchers collected were 4 inches (10 centimeters) long, but a few individuals were much larger.

“When I was diving in the river, I saw burrows that were over 2 feet [60 cm] in length!” Shipway said. “So, there may be some absolute monsters living deep in the rock.”

By eating rock, L. abatanica is literally changing the course of the river, Shipway added. “These burrows also provide habitat for countless other species living in the river, including crabs and fish,” he said. “This is a very rare, yet very important process in freshwater environments.”

The study was published online today (June 19) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Originally published on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group weird-sea-clam Bizarre clam eats rocks for breakfast LiveScience Laura Geggel fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fnc/science fnc daa90889-fd00-5b2b-b0e9-e230577a3caa Associate Editor article   Westlake Legal Group weird-sea-clam Bizarre clam eats rocks for breakfast LiveScience Laura Geggel fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fnc/science fnc daa90889-fd00-5b2b-b0e9-e230577a3caa Associate Editor article

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Meet the Scottish sea worm with eyes on its butt

Some people claim to have eyes in the back of their head. Perhaps just as useful, a new marine worm discovered off the coast of Scotland has eyes in the back of its butt.

The cheeky little worm, described for the first time in the June issue of the European Journal of Taxonomy, is called Ampharete oculicirrata, the latter part of its name referring to the pair of beady black eyes (or “oculi”) on the worm’s cirri — tiny, tentacle-like blobs poking out of the creature’s bum. (To be fair, the worm also has a pair of eyes near its mouth, but “Ampharete head-eyes” makes for a slightly less interesting name.) [Deep-Sea Creepy Crawlies: Images of Acorn Worms]

Researchers discovered the worm while collecting sandy seafloor samples from the West Shetland Shelf Marine Protected Area just north of Scotland, which is thought to be an untapped hotspot of biodiversity. Within 50-odd scoops of sand taken from around 400 feet (120 meters) below the water’s surface, the team found more than 80 worm specimens. Each one measured 0.15 to 0.2 inches (4 to 5 millimeters) long, on average — roughly the width of a No. 2 pencil eraser.

Like other polychaetes (a class of segmented marine worm), A. oculicirrata is a bottom-feeder, which is well illustrated by the tangle of food-snatching tentacles near its mouth. As for the butt eyes? It’s not uncommon for polychaetes to host multiple sets of eyes along their wriggly little bodies (having a dispersed visual network can help marine worms better detect the shadows of predatory fish); but, according to the study authors, A. oculicirrata’s posterior peepers are relatively rare among its closest relatives.

According to representatives from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, a U.K. conservation group that partially funded the study, the discovery of this odd worm so close to the Scottish mainland is further evidence of the diverse life lurking in the sandy habitats of the West Shetland Shelf. Keep your eyes — posterior or otherwise — on this space for future discoveries.

Originally published on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group sea-worm Meet the Scottish sea worm with eyes on its butt Senior Writer LiveScience fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fnc/science fnc Brandon Specktor article 1ae62fbc-f53e-574e-8e3d-e595b602025f   Westlake Legal Group sea-worm Meet the Scottish sea worm with eyes on its butt Senior Writer LiveScience fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fnc/science fnc Brandon Specktor article 1ae62fbc-f53e-574e-8e3d-e595b602025f

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Record-setting trout caught at Utah’s Flaming Gorge Reservoir, officials say

A fisherman reeled in an eye-poppingly huge catch from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Utah last month; a record-breaking trout.

Matt Smiley of Fairplay, Colo., caught and released a 48-inch lake trout on May 4, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR).

MAN CATCHES RECORD-SETTING TROUT IN UTAH

Smiley’s fish blew the others out of the water, setting a state record, the DWR confirmed on Wednesday. The organization did not weigh the catch and releases fish to avoid having to keep it out of water for a prolonged period of time.

Westlake Legal Group Giant-Trout-2 Record-setting trout caught at Utah's Flaming Gorge Reservoir, officials say Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc article 2e6f542e-7adc-5e7c-b98d-c31dde49ba2f

This is the fourth time a record-breaking fish was caught in the same waters.

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Ray Johnson held the state record for the largest catch-and-release fish when he reeled in a 26-5/8-inch salmon in 2004.

In 1997, two other record-breaking fish, a 14-1/4-inch chub and a 19-inch sucker, were also caught in Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

Westlake Legal Group Giant-trout-1 Record-setting trout caught at Utah's Flaming Gorge Reservoir, officials say Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc article 2e6f542e-7adc-5e7c-b98d-c31dde49ba2f   Westlake Legal Group Giant-trout-1 Record-setting trout caught at Utah's Flaming Gorge Reservoir, officials say Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc article 2e6f542e-7adc-5e7c-b98d-c31dde49ba2f

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Cocaine found in shrimp, shocking study reveals

Westlake Legal Group cocaine-found-in-shrimp-shocking-study-reveals Cocaine found in shrimp, shocking study reveals fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 44000760-825a-532e-a473-6ac8970f2e5f

A study looking at freshwater marine life in the U.K. has an alarming conclusion – cocaine and illegal pesticides inside freshwater shrimp.

The research looked at the exposure of wildlife, including the freshwater shrimp Gammarus pulex, to different micropollutants when the researchers came to the startling revelation.

“Although concentrations were low, we were able to identify compounds that might be of concern to the environment and crucially, which might pose a risk to wildlife,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Thomas Miller, said in a statement.

OLDEST HUMAN FOOTPRINT IN AMERICAS FOUND

Dr. Miller continued: “As part of our ongoing work, we found that the most frequently detected compounds were illicit drugs, including cocaine and ketamine and a banned pesticide, fenuron. Although for many of these, the potential for any effect is likely to be low.”

Westlake Legal Group freshwater-shrimp Cocaine found in shrimp, shocking study reveals fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 44000760-825a-532e-a473-6ac8970f2e5f

(Credit: Kings College of London)

Ketamine is a powerful drug that has been used to provide pain relief and sedation and is often likened to opioids, but it is not a member of the opiate family.

Samples were tested from 15 different locations across Suffolk and all of them came back positive for cocaine, which Dr. Leon Barron found “surprising.”

“Such regular occurrence of illicit drugs in wildlife was surprising,” Dr. Barron said in the statement. “We might expect to see these in urban areas such as London, but not in smaller and more rural catchments.”

At this time, it’s unclear how the cocaine and the banned pesticides entered the shrimp, Dr. Barron added.

Further research is needed to determine if it’s an issue only for Suffolk or if the issue is more widespread, Bury said. “Whether the presence of cocaine in aquatic animals is an issue for Suffolk, or more widespread an occurrence in the UK and abroad, awaits further research. Environmental health has attracted much attention from the public due to challenges associated with climate change and microplastic pollution.”

“However, the impact of ‘invisible’ chemical pollution (such as drugs) on wildlife health needs more focus in the UK,” Bury added.

The study was published in the scientific journal Environment International.

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Westlake Legal Group shrimp-istock Cocaine found in shrimp, shocking study reveals fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 44000760-825a-532e-a473-6ac8970f2e5f   Westlake Legal Group shrimp-istock Cocaine found in shrimp, shocking study reveals fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 44000760-825a-532e-a473-6ac8970f2e5f

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Huge alligator gar caught in Oklahoma lake by bow fisherman

Westlake Legal Group huge-alligator-gar-caught-in-oklahoma-lake-by-bow-fisherman Huge alligator gar caught in Oklahoma lake by bow fisherman fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc eaef53fb-0b9b-5f10-9f2e-fe9045aecaf7 article Ann Schmidt

A man in Oklahoma caught a huge alligator gar in a lake over the weekend, the Oklahoma Game Wardens announced Monday.

Zachary Sutterfield, of Durant, was bowfishing on Lake Texoma when he caught the 6-foot, 9-inch fish. According to a Facebook post from the Game Wardens, the gar weighed about 170 pounds.

FISHERMAN REELS IN 102-POUND CATFISH WITH ROD ‘NOT SUITED FOR THIS FISH’

“Luckily Nic Sutterfield and Billy Sutterfield were there to help wrangle this big prehistoric fish into the boat!” the Game Wardens wrote.

Westlake Legal Group Giant-Aligator-Gar Huge alligator gar caught in Oklahoma lake by bow fisherman fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc eaef53fb-0b9b-5f10-9f2e-fe9045aecaf7 article Ann Schmidt

Zachary Sutterfield, from Durant, Okla., was bowfishing on Lake Texoma over the weekend when he caught this 6-foot, 9-inch alligator gar, according to the Oklahoma Game Wardens. (Courtesy of Game Warden Trey Hale (Bryan County))

“Zachary prides himself in being a conservationist. He allowed ODWC [Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Care] biologist Richard Snow to come and gather data from the gar for important research,” the agency continued, before adding: “Great fish Zachary!!”

Others, too, congratulated Sutterfield on the rare catch.

“Congratulations!! Its a very nice fish,” one person commented on the Game Warden’s post.

Another commenter was frightened by the catch, saying: “Oh crap, I remember swimming in that lake!”

Someone else added: “Nice!!! This is also why I don’t swim in lakes now that I am aware of what’s in them.”

HUGE RATTLESNAKE SLITHERS ABOARD ARIZONA FISHERMAN’S BOAT, GIVES MAN ‘BIG SURPRISE’

Alligator gars (named for its alligator-looking snout) can be found in North and Central America and can grow up to 10 feet in length, National Geographic reports. Some have been known to reach 300 pounds.

While these prehistoric-looking creatures may look frightening, they aren’t known to attack people. That said, its eggs are poisonous to humans if eaten, according to the publication.

They typically prey on smaller fish but are also known to eat small turtles, ducks and other waterfowl.

Fox News’ Madeline Farber contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Giant-Aligator-Gar Huge alligator gar caught in Oklahoma lake by bow fisherman fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc eaef53fb-0b9b-5f10-9f2e-fe9045aecaf7 article Ann Schmidt   Westlake Legal Group Giant-Aligator-Gar Huge alligator gar caught in Oklahoma lake by bow fisherman fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/oklahoma fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/science/wild-nature fox-news/great-outdoors/fishing fox news fnc/great-outdoors fnc eaef53fb-0b9b-5f10-9f2e-fe9045aecaf7 article Ann Schmidt

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Japanese ‘Tuna King’ pays record $3M for prized bluefin Tuna at famed Tokyo fish auction

Self-described Japanese “Tuna King” Kiyoshi Kimura paid a record $3 million for a 612-pound (278-kilogram) bluefin tuna at the first new year’s first auction in Tokyo on Saturday.

Westlake Legal Group kimura-1 Japanese 'Tuna King' pays record $3M for prized bluefin Tuna at famed Tokyo fish auction Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/travel/regions/asia fox-news/science/wild-nature/fish fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/world fnc article 341f16f8-2895-5c27-a376-5057b9f6f912

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com