Invasive Indo-Pacific Lionfish (IMAGE) NOAA Headquarters Caption The Indo-Pacific Lionfish (<i>Pterois volitans</i>) were first reported off the North Carolina Coast in 2000. Since that time lionfish have become the most abundant and widely distributed species in water depths greater than 122 ft. The lionfish distribution off North Carolina is controlled primarily by winter bottom water temperatures. Credit NOAA Usage Restrictions Credit: NOAA License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.