The invasion of lionfish (Pterois miles
and Pterois volitans) in the Caribbean ocean has recently
been recognized as one of the world’s top marine conservation
issues and may well prove to be one of the greatest threats of this
century to warm temperate and tropical Atlantic reefs and
associated habitats. JNCC has collaborated with the Caribbean
Overseas Territories on a number of initiatives aimed at addressing
the lionfish problem.
Read our Lionfish Blog here>>
'An Ecological Analysis of the Lionfish Invasion in Anguilla' -
A detailed report is available here>>>, and news article
In February 2013 JNCC
co-ordinated a workshop entitled Identifying a
Lionfish Response Strategy for the UK Overseas Territories of the Wider Caribbean Region held
The ultimate goal of this workshop was to
prioritise short-term actions for a more effective control of
lionfish populations in the Wider Caribbean UK Overseas Territories
(UKOTs) and initiate the mechanism for their implementation.
Key messages from the UKOTs
- focus on short-term immediate actions
implementing the top research priorities in order to maximise
- investigate the potential impact lionfish
proliferation will have on the tourism industry and the fishing
- funding is lacking for training
staff, equipment, boat time, compiling and analysis of
data, enabling the implementation of prioritised
short-term research projects for improving effectiveness of control
measures in the long-term.
A detailed report is available here>>>
In July 2013, a second follow up workshop was
held in the Cayman Islands. This was a technical workshop
that focussed on tools to implement research priorities and control
measures for Lionfish. The overall objectives were:
- Sharing preliminary results of the ‘Economic
assessment of lionfish impact on the Tourism Industry: Cayman
Islands’, to serve as a pilot for similar work in other UKOTs.
- Adapting ongoing methodologies and techniques
to all UKOTs for ecological and economic surveys
- Developing a framework for assessing the
economic impact of lionfish on fisheries, and namely on recruitment
of commercially targeted species of the Caribbean Region.
- Ensuring the use of standard well-tested
protocols for sound assessments across the Territories; focus was
on i) the gathering of information on lionfish populations and
associated prey species, and ii) determining the impacts of
lionfish on the visiting experience of tourists, and on the
associated business sector (restaurants, fishermen).
Key messages from the UKOTs
- given the various factors involved in
addressing the growing lionfish population in the Caribbean UKOTs,
governments of the Territories would welcome assistance and
guidance in incorporating changes in activities into existing
legislation for Fisheries and Marine Protected Areas.
- Support from DEFRA on the incorporation of
lionfish population management within MPAs, and subsequent
necessary modifications to MPA policies, and enforcement.
Similarly, support from DEFRA on updating Fisheries Regulations in
relation to the lionfish invasion stage in the Territories.
Other JNCC work on Lionfish
JNCC has also supported a number of lionfish initiatives in the
Caribbean UKOTs. These include a public awareness and lionfish
survey in Anguilla (2010);
Lionfish control projects in the British Virgin Islands (2010) the
Cayman Islands (2010) and the
Turks and Caicos Islands (2010) -
all reports on these projects are available on the individual