IS TURKEY READY TO FACE WITH LIONFISH (PTEROIS SPP.) INVASION?

Is Turkey ready to face with lionfish (Pterois spp.) invasion?

Murat Bilecenoğlu

Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Adnan Menderes University, Aydın, TURKEY

Abstract

Turkey has long been subjected to intensive alien species introductions, owing to its proximity to the Suez Canal and dense maritime traffic taking place through the Turkish Straits System. Although Turkey has experienced numerous cases of marine invasions, some of which led severe consequences, precautionary measures taken so far were rather insufficient to successfully practice prevention, early detection and mitigation of impacts of noxious invaders. Given the sudden introduction of lionfish (Pterois spp.) to the Mediterranean Sea ecosystems, Turkey has doubtlessly to be more prepared than ever for a potential invasion process. In order to find out a satisfactory answer to whether Turkey is currently ready to face with lionfish invasion or not, existing information related to various aspects of invasion biology (i.e. national policies, management strategies, available relevant databases) were briefly analyzed.

Keywords: Pterois volitans, Pterois miles, invasive species management