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Report sightings of lionfish

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

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Seafarers are being urged to report any sightings of “invasive species” following the recent capture of a specimen of the lionfish (peterois volitans) off Barbados’ west coast.
The Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management said it was the first confirmed sighting of the lionfish and possibly marked the start of what was likely to be a slow increase before a rapid expansion of the population over the next couple of years.
“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 directly to the Fisheries Division, the Coastal Zone Management Unit or through the recently established UWI Lionfish Hotline at 824-8361,” a Press release from the Barbados Government Information Service stated.
Authorities warned that the invasive lionfish, with its magnificent red and pink “plumage”, was very easy to spot with its white to cream coloured body, red to reddish-brown vertical stripes and the characteristic striking “feather-like” pectoral and dorsal spines.”
The spines can inject venom into the skin. (BGIS)