Barbados Readies Lionfish Plan

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Barbados is urging seafarers to report any sightings of the invasive lionfish species, which has been spreading across the Caribbean, from Jamaica to Cayman.

The recent capture of a specimen off the west coast of Barbados was the first confirmed sighting of the fish in the country, and what could mark a slow increase in their numbers of the coming months, according to the Fisheries Division.

The country is now implementing the second phase of the Lionfish Response Plan, which was drafted by the Natural Heritage Department earlier this year in collaboration with several other agencies, including the University of the West Indies.

“Once again we are reminding all divers, fishers and sea bathers to be on the lookout for these fish and to immediately report the location of any that are spotted,” said an official with the Fisheries Division.

“It should be reiterated that these fish are not indigenous to the Caribbean and should not be confused with the native bottom-dwelling Scorpionfish, that is often locally referred to as a lionfish.”

Several countries are taking unique approaches to the problem, including Cayman, where restaurants like Michael’s Genuine are trying to stop the scourge by making the fish a featured entree.