First sighted in Lebanon in 2012, invasive lionfish have since become well-established in the Mediterranean Sea. In an effort to provide policy recommendations for the lionfish invasion within the Mediterranean Sea, REEF joined in a global collaborative effort with researchers from Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and the Caribbean to share successes and failures from two decades of lionfish management in the Western Atlantic. As a result of this work, a paper titled "Lessons from the Western Atlantic lionfish invasion to inform management in the Mediterranean” was recently published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.
Invasive lionfish control will require rapid and strategic management approaches, multinational coordination and broad cooperation among and between governments and stakeholders. The infographic (above) accompanying this article details some of the recommended and failed approached for lionfish management. Lessons for invasive lionfish management identified in the paper include:
• Conducting routine removals by spearfishing with scuba can effectively suppress local abundances of lionfish
• Encouraging the development of recreational and commercial lionfish fisheries can facilitate sustainable lionfish population control
• Engaging local communities can help achieve lionfish removals, market-development, research, and public education.
The authors also advised against failed approaches such as feeding lionfish to native fish to promote predation and implementing bounty programs to incentivize lionfish harvest. A detailed table of lionfish management strategies in both the Western Atlantic and Mediterranean was compiled to support the article and can be found here. The full article can be viewed here: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.865162