The lionfish is a runaway invasive species in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Most likely introduced around 25 years ago with people dumping unwanted lionfish from home aquariums into the Atlantic Ocean, it has no natural predators in this area. As its population continues to explode, this brightly colored fish is a growing threat to native crustaceans and fish.

The video above by filmmaker Katie Garrett follows scientists and researchers with Operation Wallacea as they explore novel strategies — such as 3-D printing decoy lionfish as traps — for culling the lionfish population in the Atlantic.

As the lionfish continue to decimate native populations and commercial fishing stocks, the race to eradicate — or at least limit the numbers of — this invasive species is heating up. View Ensia homepage