How did they get to Caribbean?

There are three stories.

Which one is the truth, we don't know.

Probably a combination of the three of them

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Ballast water

Cargo ships take water from other regions to cross the ocean.

In the water are the eggs of the Lionfish.

The Cargo Ships ditch the water when they get new cargo.

Same environmental circumstances, the eggs become fish.

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Aquarium Trading

Lionfish were always kept as Aquarium fish. But they eat other fish and A LOT!

If you put a Lionfish in an aquarium with beautiful other reef fishes, within three days there will only be the Lionfish.

So people threw the Lionfish back into the sea to get rid of them.

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EXPANSION TERRITORY

Lionfish are strong fish! They can survive:

- Depth

- Brac water

- Cold(er) water

So when they ended up in the sea around The Keys, from there they expended territory all through the Caribbean and even up north upstream Mississippi.