Regional cooperation on lionfish management promoted through a successful collaboration between BEST 2.0 grantees

June 2018

As part of their respective BEST 2.0 projects on invasive lionfish research and management strategies, two beneficiary organisations Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) and Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) teamed up to organise and co-host a regional webinar.

This joint-meeting held at the CCMI office and live streamed, was aimed at bringing together regional and international stakeholders to better understand trends around lionfish distribution, status and key management practices in the Western Atlantic. Around 50 participants from 14 different countries took part in the discussion. Participants were able to physically attend at either CCMI or BIOS venues as well as join remotely via the web.

This collaboration came about following a discussion between BEST project leaders Director Carrie Manfrino from CCMI and Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley from BIOS during which they realised that existing knowledge gaps on lionfish needed to be addressed. A dialogue about lionfish management strategies needed to be established to have a better understanding of the situation at a regional level regarding the threats caused by invasive lionfish and how they could be adequately addressed.

Participants were invited through the use of a polling system to share their perspectives and provide feedback on the lionfish situation in their territories.

Preliminary conclusions of the webinar show that stakeholders at many locations perceive an overall decrease in lionfish abundance across their territories as well as an increase in predation on lionfish (both natural and artificial). The majority of participants indicated that no formal monitoring of lionfish densities and distributions is being conducted in their region.

The webinar also highlighted the need for a common data repository accessible across regions as well as the importance of fostering an active network of stakeholders to continue the dialogue, share knowledge and exchange best practises.

A webinar report and a journal publication are in preparation to communicate these findings.

Factsheets for the two BEST 2.0 projects can be accessed here:
CCMI – Improving the Management of the Invasive Lionfish
BIOS – Management of Invasive Lionfish Hotspots