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Kingfish discovered in Procida: marine ecosystems influenced by climate change

In the waters of the Marina Grande port in Procida, a rare specimen of Kingfish was discovered, weighing approximately 35 kilos

The sort of King Fish it is known scientifically as Lampris guttatus. Widespread globally, even in Mediterranean, it is usually rarely sighted. Its unusual presence in the waters of Procida not only is it uniquely important, but it also provides valuable data on the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems. Francesco Tiralongo, ichthyologist and researcher ofUniversity of Cataniaas well as national manager of AlienFish project, shared his expertise on the importance of this finding. Tiralongo underlined that in the Mediterranean there are numerous alien species, but only a portion is considered invasive and harmful. Through AlienFish, data collected between 2020 and 2023 provides a detailed picture, with over 500 valid records of alien and rare fish. The Kingfish, although not classified as an alien species in local seas, is nevertheless rare to catch in the Mediterranean. However, similar episodes have been recorded in other areas such as the Ligurian Sea and the waters of Palermo. The expert underlines that, despite the limited information on the species, each sighting is crucial to delve deeper into its biology and habits.

Kingfish discovered in Procida: marine ecosystems influenced by climate change

Kingfish, the importance of the discovery for climate change

The frequency of sightings and captures provides revealing data not just on the individual species, but on the whole marine ecosystem. The historical analysis of trends in fish species, especially thermophilic ones, offers crucial indications. The thermophilic specieswhich prefer warmer waters, are extending their range northwards into the Mediterranean, highlighting ongoing changes in marine ecosystems.

The AlienFish project involves a large network of researchers, photographers and fishermen, and uses a science-based approach citizen science. This methodology, originally developed in the United States and England, involves the active contribution of lay individuals in the collection of scientific data. In Procida, an ambitious citizen science project is being implemented aimed at making the island free of the tiger mosquito, an invasive insect that arrived in the 1990s.

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