Several years ago I blogged that the lionfish were probably here already (read here) and there is now no doubt that they were. Within two years we are getting reports from around the island of Antigua of lionfish sightings. In order to protect our fishery and our important dive and snorkeling sites we need to be very proactive on how we track them and how we kill them.
There was a great article in today’s Daily Observer about the lionfish and more importantly about protecting our marine resources overall. Click here for that article.
I have decided to try and keep track of sightings using Google Maps. What I plan to do is to invite any dive or snorekling operator as well as fishermen and other parties that would likely see lionfish regularly to sign up as users on a Map that i have created. They then can input lionfish sightings on the map with a date and a short explanation saying if they left the fish in the water or killed it. Anyone who isn’t signed up with this map can still view it and can call me on +1 268 725 7263 if they have seen a lionfish. I will add the sighting and a date to the map.
I think this is the first good step in getting a good idea on what’s going on. Of course there is much more that can be done, but this is a good tool to keep track of the populations of lionfish.
Remember these fish can be dangerous if not handled correctly. Make sure you do your research before you attempt to kill one. If you need more info please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the map:
View Lionfish Tracking Antigua & Barbuda in a larger map