The number of illegal migrant arrivals on the islands of the eastern Aegean is on the rise compared to last year, according to data released by the European Union border agency, Frontex.
"In the first seven months of this year, the total number of detections in the Eastern Mediterranean was down 6 percent from a year ago to almost 28,200," it said.
Populations of the lagocephalus sceleratus, commonly known as the silver-cheeked toadfish, which in recent years have spread across the Aegean and the Mediterranean, could lead to death if consumed, according to marine biologists.
The fish, described as a "highly toxic invasive fish," entered the Mediterranean from the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal.
Comments last week by Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who drew parallels between Moscow's "unsafe and unprofessional" behavior following the near-collision between US and Russian warships in the Philippine Sea and Turkey's moves in the Eastern Mediterranean, pointed to something much more profound and significant than the usual occasional statements.