DUTCH CARIBBEAN — Have you seen or captured a lionfish recently? Record your sighting online at www.lionfishcontrol.org and help monitor and control this dangerous and invasive species. A new web-based and mobile-device-friendly application has recently been updated and expanded to Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten after piloting on Bonaire where over 10,000 records have been entered in an effort to improve control efforts of the lionfish.
Lionfish hunters and ocean-going public can record their observations and lionfish captures in an easy-to-understand and informative way. In combination with additional research, the information provided by these “citizen scientists” gives unprecedented insight into lionfish distribution and success of removal efforts.
Since the early 90’s, the rapid spread of the invasive lionfish has been an increasing problem for the Caribbean region, as the exotic and voracious predator eats its way through native fish communities. On a number of Caribbean islands, lionfish control programs were set in motion, often with a volunteer (fishing) component.
Over the last two years, lionfish populations in the waters of Bonaire and Curaçao have been systematically studied by a joint effort between STINAPA Bonaire and CARMABI. A recent scientific publication of these studies showed that lionfish numbers on Bonaire were almost three times lower in fished areas over unfished areas on the same island and over four times lower than in unfished areas on Curaçao, where the control efforts started much later than on Bonaire. This proves that while recruitment will continuously offset lionfish removal, the control efforts are successfully reducing local density and biomass of lionfish on our reefs, which helps protect our native reef fish species.
Lionfish Control Posters on St. Maarten
Related posts:The Effectiveness of Volunteer Lionfish Removal Efforts Paul Hoetjes Interview on Lionfish in the Dutch Caribbean