Control and management of the lionfish invasion is needed to understand and mitigate
the impacts of this unprecedented marine invasion. In less than a decade, the Indo-Pacific
lionfish (Pterois volitans) has become widely established along the Southeast U.S.
and Caribbean. Lionfish are presently invading the Gulf of Mexico and South America.
Recent estimates of lionfish abundance indicate that lionfish have surpassed some
native species with the highest estimates reporting over 1,000 lionfish per acre
in some locations.
Lionfish are capable of permanently impacting native reef fish
communities across multiple trophic levels. Furthermore, lionfish occupy the same
trophic position as economically important species (e.g., snapper and grouper) and
may hamper stock rebuilding efforts and coral reef conservation measures.
- Development of local lionfish control programs
- Determine lionfish population control mechanisms in native range and assess if adaptable
to invaded range.
- Assess and develop safe lionfish harvesting strategies for seafood markets.
- Initiate lionfish removal programs for protected areas.
- Assist in the development of regional lionfish control plans for the Southeast U.S.,
Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean.
Lionfish Harvesting Considerations
Lionfish Harvesting Media Coverage
Return to the Invasive Lionfish page.