The Green Fund gives TT$3.9M to tackle destructive lionfish

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    (Photo via Oceanographic Magazine)

    The Green Fund has contributed TT$3.9 million to the management of the destructive lionfish.

    The lionfish was accidentally released into the Caribbean, and was first sighted in the Western Atlantic Ocean in the late 1980s.

    Since the mid-2000s its population has exploded and today it threatens the delicate balance of nature of the Caribbean Sea.

    With no native predators, an abundance of food and prolific breeding habits, the lionfish has firmly established itself as one of the newest threats in the Caribbean.

    According to the Planning Minisrty: key objectives of the initiative and benefits to T&T include:

    Educating key stakeholders and the general public of the threats of the invasive lionfish to our marine environment, identifying and mapping where the lionfish can be found in local territorial waters, training stakeholders how to handle the venomous fish and treatments option when stung, encouraging the removal of lionfish from our marine environment and promoting the eating of lionfish.


    NEW APP

    Meanwhile there is a new app to help report lionfish sightings as well as other environmental emergencies.

    According to the Planning Ministry, the IMA partnered with CARIRI in 2020 to develop an Integrated Environmental Incident Software Platform and mobile application, called the Lionfish SeaiTT.

    This allows users to report lionfish sightings, numbers and sizes with the touch of a button.

    This initiative was officially launched on November 6th 2020 and can also be used to report other invasive species wreaking havoc on our environment, oil spills, Sargassum seaweed, and illegal environmental activity.

    Persons can also use it to access maps to beaches, receive updates on tides, currents, sea swells and other vital marine information.

    Minister Camille Robinson-Regis says this new platform facilitates citizen participation in environmental management and preservation.