The UK’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) has allotted £60,000 in funding for initiatives to check the invasion of Indo-Pacific lionfish in the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands and the British Virgin Islands.
The three Overseas Territories of the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands and the British Virgin Islands will use £60,000 of funding provided to focus and develop efforts to monitor and control lionfish. Anguilla will also use some of its own funding to combat the lionfish threat. The project will try to minimise the destructive impacts of the invasive lionfish by controlling the size and spread of the infestation.
By focussing on awareness-raising the project hopes to gain additional support from the public as people understand the control actions being undertaken, report any lionfish sightings and even become involved as volunteers.
Permanent Secretary in the Virgin Islands Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour commented on the grant award:
“We are pleased to have received this grant, but more pleased that there is recognition on the part of the donors that the potential of the lionfish to devastate our fisheries is very real. …It also bespeaks a confidence in our proposal that the funds will be put to good use.”
(For more on the lionfish problem in the Caribbean, see this previous Green Antilles article.)
The Caribbean lionfish project is part of the JNCC‘s strategy to protect the biodiversity of British overseas territories from invasive alien species.
[Photo: Jeremy Johnson]