Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin



News from the Caribbean:


Back To Today's News

St Kitts-Nevis also reports drop in lionfish population
Published on April 19, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

lionfish.jpg
Lionfish

By Andre Huie

BASSETERRE, St Kitts (WINN) -- On the heels of a recent report of a drop in lionfish in Jamaica, there has also been a decline in the appearance of the predatory lionfish in St Kitts waters according to Mark Williams, director of the Marine Resources Department.

Jamaica has reported a big decline in sightings of lionfish, the voracious invasive species that has been wreaking havoc on regional reefs for years. A campaign was launched there some four years ago to slash numbers of lionfish. The National Environment and Planning Agency in Jamaica is reporting a 66 percent drop in sightings of lionfish in coastal waters with depths of 75 feet (23 meters).

"We have a similar observation to Jamaica, that we see a stagnant level almost to a reduction," Williams told WINN FM.

"We have been encouraging our fishers and their customers to purchase the lionfish, consume the lionfish, because it tastes similar to our grouper which is a high end fish in our federation,” he said.

Williams noted, however, that even though there is a drop in the sightings of lionfish in St Kitts waters, fishermen are not enthusiastic about catching and selling them for consumption. This, Williams said, is because locally not many people have been showing an interest in eating lionfish.

"It's mainly a by catch for the trap fishery as well as for the spear fishers, they haven't been targeting it because our citizens have not been demanding it,” he explained.

He noted that while there has been a slight increase in consumption, it was not at the level to reduce the population significantly. He asserted that ultimately catching lionfish is the only way to control the population. He explained the observed decline in the population recently was more likely due to the territorial nature of the creature.

"Lionfish are territorial. As they get older they will mark their own space, so as a result our marine space is fairly small, so when it [reaches] a population level that covers most of the lionfish areas in a marine space then they will move on to other destination," the director said.

"We can continue to take the lionfish... out of our waters. That's the only way we can stop the lionfish from expanding the population in our area. It has been suggested that we should have lionfish... fishing competition. However, these are just temporary fixes because if our neighbours, St Eustatius, St Barts, Antigua and Barbuda even Puerto Rico don't have lionfish competitions going on at the same time it would be somewhat difficult to keep the population lower over a sustainable period,” Williams said.

He reminded that that there are no health risks related to the consumption of the lionfish.

"They have some venomous spines, that if you get [stung] when you're cleaning it, it will swell your hand, but other than that it is a safe eating fish,” he said.

Republished with permission of West Indies News Network
 
Reads: 3810





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.

Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code



Please note that, if you are using an AT&T domain email address, e.g. att.net, bellsouth.net, sbcglobal.net, the verification email will likely not be delivered. This is outside of our control and the only remedy seems to be for readers to complain to AT&T





Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

The Caribbean Writer 2014


Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: