Managing marine invasive species through public participation: Lionfish derbies as a case study

Luis Malpica-Cruza, L, LCT Chavesa, IM Côté. 2016. Managing marine invasive species through public participation: Lionfish derbies as a case study.

Marine Policy. 74 (December 2016): 158–164

The authors of this study examined drivers of public involvement and success at invasive removal in tournaments (derbies) to catch Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) in the Western Atlantic. Information on 69 lionfish derbies held in the wider Caribbean region from 2010 to 2015 was compiled, including REEF Lionfish Derbies. The authors found that the number of lionfish caught increased with effort and with time since lionfish were established in an area. They also found that derby participation was best predicted by national wealth (GDP per capita) and number of local dive shops. These findings support that, from the point of view of public engagement, derbies should be held in areas where lionfish are well established, and where the pool of potential participants is large. However, alternative strategies may be more effective in areas where few lionfish are present.

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