[Coral-List] [campam] Cayman Islands Lionfish Update

Tupper, Mark (WorldFish) M.Tupper at CGIAR.ORG
Wed May 6 06:08:06 EDT 2009

Lionfish have been one of the more popular species in marine aquaria for a long time, as well as being exploited for food in a few places, but I've never heard of any noticeable declines in their populations, even where locally harvested for the aquarium trade. I rather doubt that any kind of removal program would have much effect.

As far as I know, their major predators are large groupers and other lionfish. There are definitely fewer large grouper species in the tropical west Atlantic than the Indo-Pacific, and there is the question of whether any predator in the Atlantic would find them palatable. What are the predators of scorpionfish in the Atlantic, if any? They might also be able to prey on lionfish. I suppose one could hope that lionfish numbers in the Caribbean might reach an equilibrium if their cannibalism rate eventually equals their recruitment rate, but who knows what sort of population density would be needed for that to happen...

Mark Tupper

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov on behalf of Jeremy Woodley
Sent: Wed 5/6/2009 1:30 AM
To: 'Georgina Bustamante'; IRF''Bruce Potter; 'John Ogden'; Ernesto Weil
Cc: 'Rahanna Juman'; 'Dale Webber'; 'J.C. Zieman'; 'Eric Jordan-Dahlgren'; 'Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute'; 'Coral List'; 'Bill Wiebe'; 'Bjorn Kjerfve'; 'Dean Milliken'; 'Caribbean Coral Reefs'; 'Campam'; 'George F. Warner'
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] [campam] Cayman Islands Lionfish Update
I agree with John that the creature is probably here to stay. However, people who have researched its life-history, natural distribution and ecology could tell us if there is some weak point at which it might be susceptible for control, or could enhance attempts to capture them. But it's hard to imagine that divers with nets and spears can do the job: not enough divers and too many less accessible reefs.


--- On Tue, 5/5/09, Ernesto Weil <eweil at caribe.net> wrote:

From: Ernesto Weil <eweil at caribe.net>
Subject: RE: [campam] Cayman Islands Lionfish Update
To: "'Georgina Bustamante'" <gbustamante at bellsouth.net>, "'Bruce Potter, IRF'" <bpotter at irf.org>, "'John Ogden'" <jogden at marine.usf.edu>
Cc: "'Campam'" <campam at yahoogroups.com>, "'Coral List'" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>, "'Jaime Garzon-Ferreira'" <jgarzon at invemar.org.co>, "'Carolina Bastidas'" <cbastidas at usb.ve>, "'Rahanna Juman'" <rjuman at ima.gov.tt>, "'Eric Jordan-Dahlgren'" <jordan at mar.icmyl.unam.mx>, "'Bjorn Kjerfve'" <kjerfve at tamu.edu>, "'Dean Milliken'" <milliken at marine.usf.edu>, "'Bill Wiebe'" <wjwiebe at earthlink.net>, "'Dale Webber'" <dale.webber at uwimona.edu.jm>, "'J.C.. Zieman'" <jcz at virginia.edu>, "'George F. Warner'" <georgewarner261 at btinternet.com>, "'Jeremy Woodley'" <jdwoodley at yahoo.co.uk>, "'Gulf and Caribbean  Fisheries Institute'" <GCFINET at LISTSERV.TAMU.EDU>, "'Caribbean Coral Reefs'" <carib-coral-reefs at yahoogroups.com>
Date: Tuesday, 5 May, 2009, 5:12 PM


Dear Colleagues, instead of developing a protocol to  assess
impact of lionfish on small fish populations,  It seems to me that we should  invest
some energy  into  developing a protocol  to efficiently eradicate it ASAP, so
we do not have to assess their impact in small fish populations.  




From: Georgina Bustamante
[mailto:gbustamante at bellsouth.net] 

Sent: Monday, May 04, 2009 11:25 PM

To: 'Bruce Potter, IRF'; 'John Ogden'

Cc: 'Campam'; 'Coral List'; 'Jaime Garzon-Ferreira'; 'Carolina
Bastidas'; 'Rahanna Juman'; 'Ernesto Weil'; 'Eric Jordan-Dahlgren'; 'Bjorn
Kjerfve'; 'Dean Milliken'; 'Bill Wiebe'; 'Dale Webber'; 'J.C. Zieman'; 'George
F. Warner'; 'Jeremy Woodley'; 'Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute';
'Caribbean Coral Reefs'

Subject: RE: [campam] Cayman Islands Lionfish Update 


Claire Paris 



Georgina Bustamante, Ph.D. 


Caribbean  Marine Protected Area Managers Network and Forum 


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campam at yahoogroups.com [mailto:campam at yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bruce
Potter, IRF

Sent: Monday, May 04, 2009 11:02 PM

To: John Ogden

Cc: Campam; Coral List; Jaime Garzon-Ferreira; Carolina Bastidas;
Rahanna Juman; Ernesto Weil; Eric Jordan-Dahlgren; Bjorn Kjerfve; Dean
Milliken; Bill Wiebe; Dale Webber; J.C. Zieman; George F. Warner; Jeremy Woodley;
Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute; Caribbean Coral Reefs

Subject: Re: [campam] Cayman Islands Lionfish Update 



John -- I agree, and I thought that someone at NOAA or RSMAS 

announced some time back that there was an established reporting 


bruce potter

At 9:44 AM -0500 5/4/09, John Ogden wrote:

>Thinking back to the Diadema mass mortality of 1983-84 and the

>opportunities that were missed because of poor communications across the

>region, now would be a very good time to use our superb and ubiquitous

>communications to set up a coordinated observation network to see what

>is the impact of lionfish on populations of small reef fishes. It

>appears that this idea could be trumped by well-meaning but ultimately

>futile attempts to remove them. Who doubts that they are here to stay? 

>It would be best we anticipate the future of Caribbean reefs with

>lionfish and try to get some data to help get our minds around this.


>Cheers all.


>> From: Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute Network

On Behalf Of Dave Anderson

>> Sent: Sunday, May 03, 2009 9:24 PM


>> Subject: [GCFINET] Cayman Islands Lionfish Update




>> This message was originally submitted by Bradley Johnson

>> [mailto:Bradley.Johnson at gov.ky]
to GCFINet.


>> Hi all,




>> As of 30th April 2009 we have caught 90 lionfish! This includes the 2

>> in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman in 2008 and 3 live specimens. They

>> been caught in water ranging from 3' down to 110', on all sides of the

>> islands, and in all habitats.




>> By island we have:


>> Grand Cayman - 44;


>> Cayman Brac - 8;


>> Little Cayman - 38.




>> Cayman Brac was hit by Hurricane Paloma in November and sustained

>> damage to the Island, including their dive operations. The sightings
have so

>> far been primarily from divers, so with practically no diving in the
Brac we

>> are getting fewer reports of lionfish from there. We assume this will

>> increase once the dive operations reopen.




>> We have licensed approximately 163 divers to remove lionfish for us

>> 130 in Grand, 3 in the Brac, and 30 in LC. We will increase the number

>> licensed divers in the Brac once they get more dive staff back.






>> Bradley C. Johnson

>> Research Officer

>> Department of Environment

>> Cayman Islands Government

>> PO Box 486

>> Grand Cayman KY1-1106


>> 345-949-8469 Office

>> 345-244-4168 Direct

>> 345-949-4020 Fax


>> Website www.doe.ky




>> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




>> ------------------------------------


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>John C. Ogden, Director

>Florida Institute of Oceanography

>Professor of Integrative Biology

>University of South Florida

>830 First Street South

>St. Petersburg, FL 33701 USA

>Tel. 727-553-1100

>Fax 727-553-1109








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