My thanks to my colleague Colleen Cohen for sending this news item from the BVI.
The British Virgin Islands Conservation and Fisheries Department announced yesterday that the second lionfish had been caught in BVI waters north of Tortola on Wednesday, 2 June, by local fisherman, Mr. Alvin “Kumba” Martin of Jost Van Dyke (see photo). Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer, Mr. Bertrand Lettsome stated, “It is good to see that the public outreach and education that the Conservation and Fisheries Department is putting out is working and advises that anyone who spots a Lionfish should immediately mark the location and contact the department.” Mr. Martin indicated that some weeks ago he caught a lionfish but had released it because he was unaware of the dangers they pose to the Territory´s fishing industry. However after noticing flyers and hearing public notices regarding the threats of the Indo-Pacific Lionfish he reacted immediately when he made another catch in one of his fish traps. His traps were set 14 to 15 miles north of Tortola in approximately 125 feet of water.
Earlier in the year the Conservation and Fisheries Department received a grant of £20,000 from the United Kingdom´s Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), equivalent to just over US$30,000 to monitor, control, raise awareness of the threat of the Lionfish and combat the invasion of the fish species in the Territory. Less than one week ago the first Lionfish was captured by another local fisherman Mr. Willis Barry on 27 May, off the west side of Anegada.
Lionfish markers can be collected at the Conservation and Fisheries Department located on the second floor of the Quastisky building across from the Road Town roundabout from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, or persons interested in more information can telephone the department at 494-5681, 494-3429, 468-9611 or 468-9678.
The invasive Indo-Pacific Lionfish has been a cause of concern throughout the region. The soliciting and receiving of funds is part of the Conservation and Fisheries Department´s strategic action plan to combat the invasion of the Indo-Pacific Lionfish. It is the department´s aim to tackle the Lionfish invasion promptly to minimize damage to the marine environment.
For the original report go to http://www2.bviplatinum.com/news.php?module=news&page=Article&articleID=1275682427