The Belize Lionfish Project held an Achievements Presentation on March 22nd at the San Pedro Lion’s Den. The ceremony was held to showcase the Belize Lionfish Project’s achievements, as well as to recognize the great job that San Pedro’s guides, fishermen and establishments have been doing in conquering the problem of the invasive lionfish. The event also launched the Belize Lionfish Project documentary on DVD.
In attendance were Robbie Gonzalez of the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association, Miguel Alamilla of the Fisheries Department, Nadia Chacon and Linda Searle of ECOMAR, Leonel Requena of the Community Management of Protected Areas for Conservation Program, Nayari Diaz of Protected Area Conservation Trust and other guests.
In speaking with The San Pedro Sun, ECOMAR Director Linda Searle said, “The Belize Lionfish Project was started in 2008 when the first lionfish was observed in Belize off of Turneffe. The project has really developed in an effort to manage lionfish. As you’re probably aware, lionfish are an evasive species and people are concerned that all of the native fish of Belize are all going to be eradicated. The lionfish will have eaten them all up and so the only fish that we’re going to have on the reef will be lionfish and we don’t want that because we like our grouper and our spiny lobster, and the other species are important to the health of the reef.”
Since its inception in 2008, the Belize Lionfish Project has come up with various activities to combat the invasion of the lionfish. Searle commented, “We had to come up with different activities in order to manage lionfish and to keep their populations low and not let them get out of hand. We’ve been working with a lot of different stakeholders, including the fisheries department and Hol Chan.”
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