Strategy for the control of invasive lionfish

Rich Carey
Published: 20 November 2015
Last edited: 24 July 2019
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The invasion and proliferation of lionfish threatens biodiversity in the Wider Caribbean Region. A strategic plan for their control provides a framework to address the invasion with a concerted approach across political and geographical boundaries. Cooperation is promoted among governments, reef-reliant industries, civil society and academia. A transboundary research and monitoring agenda is coupled with local action plans, information campaigns and the adaptation of policy guidelines.


Scale of implementation
Coral reef
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Invasive alien species
Loss of Biodiversity
Invasive species
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Poor governance and participation
Lack of food security


Cozumel Island, Quintana Roo, Mexico | Wider Caribbean region


the several serious threats of invasive lionfish The two invasive lionfish species pose a serious threat to native coral-reef associated marine life, and contribute to the decline of many commerically and ecologically important species. The invasive lionfish population could have a significant negative impact on economically important activities. Furthermore, the lionfish's venomous spines are a safety risk to both fishermen and recreational divers.


fisheries and tourism sector, local communities, local and national authorities


The results of pilot areas have shown a clear reduction in the lionfish population: 17 individuals per hectare compared to previously extremely invaded areas with 320 individuals per hectare. The commercial use of lionfish generated important economic benefits in fishing communities – e.g. in the case of Cozumel and Puerto Morelos where the consumption of lionfish is even promoted as a delicacy. Furthermore, the free access to lionfish for the entire community beyond the commercial fishery helps to secure alimentation.

Contributed by

Ricardo Gomez Lozano CONANP

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