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Nicola Smith

Lionfish Research in The Bahamas Makes Global Spotlight

[slideshow] Since its creation just over one year ago, the Lionfish Research and Education Program (LREP) at CEI has strived to become a hub for lionfish work in the Caribbean. Recently, LREP has taken some exciting steps toward reaching this status! Just last week, CEI hosted three producers and videographers from ZED (www.zed.fr), a major French documentary company that is working on gathering footage for an upcoming TV series featuring invasive lionfish. Specifically, the documentary team was interested in learning about Bahamian lionfish research and management initiatives. Luckily, visiting scientist, and partner of LREP, Nicola Smith was able to come over from Nassau to support the week’s activities and be featured in the film! Nicola is the lead coordinator for the Bahamian-wide lionfish research project that operates under the Bahamian Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and partners with CEI.

ZED producer, Jerome Segur, sound engineer, Olivier Pioda, and underwater videographer (and former member of Jacque Cousteau’s prestigious dive team!) Didier Noirot, joined Nicola and LREP researchers in the field to get a closer look at lionfish and to better understand the project’s research objectives.

The week proved to be a big success for ZED, DMR, and CEI! The documentary will provide a valuable avenue for scientific communication and represents a great opportunity for Bahamian scientist’s work to be recognized by wider audiences. It is very exciting that the initiatives taking place on Eleuthera will now be shared with people all over the world! The documentary is scheduled to air by the end of the year in both France and Germany… keep your eye out!

-Skylar Miller (S'03), LREP Manager

DCMS Community Outreach Project on Lionfish

Deep Creek Middle School student, Yanni Giannakopulous (grade 9) is leading both Island School and DCMS students through a project to educate local fishermen and restaurant owners on Eleuthera about the market for Lionfish. At the conclusion of the project, the students plan to hold an educational outreach event at a local restaurant where they bring together suppliers and consumers to learn more about how to cook the fish and create a market for this invasive species. In order to prepare for this final event, the students heard a presentation by Nicola Smith from The Bahamas Department of Marine Resources. She shared some of the latest research on the species. The students are also learning all about safe handling of the lionfish, since their spine rays are venomous, from lionfish researcher at CEI and alumna, Skylar Miller (S'03), as well as delicious preparation of the fish from Island School sustainable chef and alumnus Emery Long (F'04), shown in the photos below. During this Community Outreach class, the students were being filmed by ZED, a French documentary film company who are currently on campus. ZED specializes in natural history, science and adventure and has been working on an invasive species documentary featuring lionfish and will be shooting lots of underwater footage with the lionfish research team at CEI.

[slideshow]