Setting the record straight on invasive lionfish control: Culling works

Côté​, IM, L Akins, E Underwood, J Curtis-Quick, SJ Green. 2014. Setting the record straight on invasive lionfish control: Culling works.

PeerJ PrePrints. 2:e398v1

Frequent culling of the invasive Indo-Pacific Lionfish throughout the Caribbean has been shown to cause a shift towards more wary and reclusive behaviour by lionfish, which has prompted calls for halting culls. This paper, co-authored by REEF Lionfish Program researchers, addresses those concerns and reviews research conducted by REEF and other research efforts. Culling successfully lowers lionfish numbers and has been shown to stabilise or even reverse declines in native prey fish. Partial culling is often as effective as complete local eradication, yet requires significantly less time and effort. Abandoning culling altogether would therefore be seriously misguided and a hindrance to conservation. The authors also offer suggestions for how to design removal programs that minimize behavioural changes and maximize culling success.

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