Last night our community had the opportunity to attend a lionfish presentation from REEF's (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) Director of Operations Lad Akins and lionfish researcher from Simon Fraser University, Stephanie Green. Their presentation gave students, interns, and staff an update on the lionfish invasion in the Caribbean. Atkins presented research on the breadth of the invasion as well as reasons why lionfish have gained such a strong foothold outside their native Indo-Pacific range. Green then spoke to students about the implications of the invasion on native fisheries in the Caribbean, as well as what is being done to curb the advance.
In addition to lionfish education and training people in the invaded areas, REEF has planned events such as lionfish derbys and plans to release a cookbook on lionfish preparation as ways to raise awareness about what can be done to mitigate the effects of the invasion. A derby is planned on the Cape for February to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Deep Creek Middle School.
Lad Atkins is widely recognized as the leading researcher and expert on the lionfish issue, and Stephanie Green has conducted extensive research in the field. Lad and Stephanie have been conducting research at the Cape Eleuthera Institute for a couple of years and will return again to collect more data in December and attend the student Research Symposium (12/4/10).
Click here to see a video on how to clean a lionfish for eating.