Effective local suppression of a global marine invasion by volunteers:The case of lionfish removal by divers in Buck Island National Monument, USVI

Stephanie Green, Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford University

The ongoing invasion of predatory lionfish in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean now occurs at a scale beyond the resources available for eradication, setting up a long term battle for local population control. How much effort is needed to suppress lionfish below densities that impact invaded coral reef fish communities? To answer this question, Dr. Green will share the results of a culling experiment conducted in collaboration with volunteer divers from St. Croix and researchers from the University of the Virgin Islands, Reef Environmental Education Foundation, and National Park Service on coral reefs within Buck Island National Monument. In 2013 and 2014, the team evaluated the effort and success rate of bi-monthly culling by divers and the response of native fish communities to removal of this invasive predator. Dr. Green will also discuss how this research in informing activities to manage lionfish in the region, and also leading to new research on lionfish movement and distribution around Buck Island to target culling activities.

This presentation will be held at Christiansted National Historic Site in the Danish West India and Guinea Company Warehouse (the old Post Office) at 5:30pm on Thursday, June 22, 2017. The Fort parking lot will remain open for those attending the talk.