Field Guide to Nonindigenous Marine Fishes of Florida

Schofield, Pamela J. and Morris, Jr., James A. and Akins, Lad (2009) Field Guide to Nonindigenous Marine Fishes of Florida. Silver Spring, MD, NOAA/National Ocean Service/Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research, (NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS, 92)

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The purpose of this field guide is to provide information on nonindigenous (i.e., non-native) fishes that have been observed in Florida’s marine waters. Introductions of non-native marine fishes into Florida’s waters could be intentional or unintentional, and are likely from a variety of sources, including aquarium releases, escape from aquaculture, loss due to extreme weather events (e.g., flooding from hurricanes), and possibly transfer with ballast water or hull-fouling. Presently the lionfishes (Pterois volitans and P. miles) are the only non-native marine fish species known to be established along the coast of Florida. All other marine fishes in this guide (except the euryhaline species, see below) have infrequent occurrences, occur singly or in small groups, and have not yet become self-sustaining populations. Aquarium releases are one of the major pathways whereby nonindigenous fishes gain access to new environments (Ruiz et al. 1997; Fuller et al. 1999). Most of the nonindigenous marine fishes found in Florida’s waters are thought to be aquarium fishes that either were illegally released into the ocean or escaped captivity (e.g., during severe storm/flooding events). Indeed, south Florida is a hotspot for nonindigenous marine aquarium fishes (Semmens et al. 2004). Increased public awareness of the problems caused by released or escaped aquarium fishes may aid in stemming the frequency of releases. For example, HabitattitudeTM ( is a national public awareness and partnership campaign that encourages aquarists and water gardeners to prevent the release of unwanted aquarium plants, fish and other animals. It prompts hobbyists to adopt alternative actions when dealing with these aquatic plants and animals. (PDF file contains 133 pages.)

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: Field Guide to Nonindigenous Marine Fishes of Florida
Personal Creator/Author:
Schofield, Pamela J.
Morris, Jr., James
Akins, Lad
Series Name: NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS
Number: 92
Date: 2009
Publisher: NOAA/National Ocean Service/Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research
Place of Publication: Silver Spring, MD
Issuing Agency: United States National Ocean Service
Subjects: Conservation
Item ID: 2677
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2009 18:23
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2014 01:42
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