C.O.R.E.'s Invasive Lionfish Response Network was developed as an active 24/7 Invasive Lionfish Response System. Building active lionfish response networks in every region is a beneficial and necessary tool to properly manage Invasive Lionfish populations. Several scientific studies have concluded that proper invasive species management must be active everyday of the year.
To be successful in proper management, continual management of marine protected areas as well as unfrequented waters is essential to proper management.
Several Invasive Species Management Plans in the Caribbean and Atlantic regions have incorporated some form of Invasive Lionfish response. To encourage participation, an active 24/7 Invasive Lionfish Sighting Network is necessary to keep information and responders updated.
Every region has its own hotline and email to report lionfish sightings. All regions are tied into the main structure that is the C.O.R.E.'s Invasive Lionfish Sighting Network.
In many regions where the Invasive lionfish has expanded its impact, communities have worked at educating themselves in proper techniques in extracting lionfish. These groups and individuals work within the existing fishing laws and updated lionfish laws to extract lionfish from public waters.
To properly impact areas of concern, continual monitoring of areas is necessary to maintain that area's integrity.
Individuals that successfully completed C.O.R.E. Invasive Lionfish Response Training have been issued C.O.R.E. Identification cards. These cards allow C.O.R.E. responders access to certain private waters to extract lionfish. These members have been called to extract lionfish from the Cruise ship docks, protected marine preserves, seaplane docks, fishing piers as well as frequented beaches and dive sites. C.O.R.E. trained responders have in some cases attained permits to extract lionfish from Marine Protected Waters such as the U.S. National Park St. John, U.S.V.I. or Department of Parks and Natural Resource protected waters.
C.O.R.E. trained lionfish responders are kept informed of current lionfish sightings reported to the C.O.R.E. Invasive Lionfish Sighting Network. Sighting managers report current sightings to responders to effect quick response. Sightings are reported via email, phone and Invasive Lionfish Sighting Webpage.
C.O.R.E. Response Directive:
1. Respond to reported lionfish sightings. 2. Search and maintain areas that are not frequently used. 3. Participate in lionfish cleanups of areas of heavy densities and/or frequency. 4. Lower lionfish population densities and frequency at depths deeper than the recreational diving depth. 5. Assist with lionfish management in protected waters to maintain the ecosystem integrity.
Invasive Lionfish are everywhere. Many are pulling lionfish out of areas that are frequented or for derbies. It is important to pull lionfish everyday from every area. Frequented, marine sanctuary as well as unfrequented waters. It is unreasonable to think that all areas can be effected properly daily. Therefore, it is important to keep frequented areas clear of lionfish. Unfrequented areas checked as frequently as possible to gain information on frequency as well as densities. Marine Sanctuaries were DEVELOPED with the increased preservation of valuable sensitive ecosystems in mind. Although, it is important to have RESPO+N GRPS to access areas of protection otherwise the areas of protection become Lionfish Sanctuaries.
Another area of concern is areas Recreational divers can't reach. Recreational divers are limited to 130' in depth. Unfortunately, lionfish can reach depths of 1000 feet or greater. Therefore it is important to effect deep water lionfish populations as well as shallow. 3"- 130' are covered by most divers and freedivers in most areas. It is important to effect those areas as well as deeper water populations to effect the overall expansion.
Deep water fishermen as well as Technical Deep Divers are important to this aspect of Deep Water INvasive Lionfish Managment.
C.O.R.E. Deep divers can reach depths of 300'. Deep water fishermen can reach depths of 500'. Although this is only 1/2 the depth that some lionfish reach, to reproduce ALL lionfish must come to shallower depths. Hence, reproduction and collection of reproductive lionfish is best done in shallower depths where fishermen as well as divers and snorkelers can effect. C.O.R.E. Deep divers have effected
C.O.R.E. trained search and responders have been trained since 2009. Hundreds of responders have been trained for each island in the U.S.V.I. Training was developed by the C.O.R.E. foundation PADI Dive Instructor/ Training was built with safety and efficiency in mind. Training has been endorsed by USNP St. John to apply for permitting of lionfish extraction within national park boundaries. C.O.R.E. has trained hundreds of scuba divers as well as freedivers how to search for and safely extract invasive lionfish. C.O.R.E. has trained individuals in the U.S.V.I. and the B.V.I..
Invasive lionfish sightings are reported to C.O.R.E. via email, phone and lionfish sighting webpage. Lionfish sighting managers for the reported region disseminate information to C.O.R.E. lionfish responders. Responders Areas of high density or great frequency are monitored to maintain populations.
1. Invasive lionfish sightings are reported to the C.O.R.E. Lionfish hotline via email, phone and lionfish sighting webpage. 2. Lionfish sighting managers for the reported region disseminate information to C.O.R.E. lionfish responders. 3. Areas of high density or frequency are brought to the attention of C.O.R.E. lionfish responders.
1. Frequented areas lionfish populations are kept at minimal numbers. 2. High frequency or density areas are maintained to decrease negative impacts from large lionfish populations. 3. Unfrequented areas by marine users and fishermen are monitored and maintained to keep lionfish populations at manageable numbers. 4. Deep water lionfish populations (< 130') are monitored and population densities are managed.
C.O.R.E. Lionfish Responders Benefits
1. Free air fills at participating dive operations. 2. Equipment discounts for lionfish equipment at participating dive operations. 3. Applicable for permits to extract lionfish from Marine Protected Areas. 4. Assist C.O.R.E. response vessel outings to high density areas. 5. Access to areas that are closed off to general public. 6.
The C.O.R.E. Foundation 2608 Fish Bay St. John, VI 00830 1-833-774-CORE (2673)
C.O.R.E. EEinSC The C.O.R.E. Foundation 2860 Maybank Hwy #414 Johns Island, S.C. 29457-0414 (843) 822-0530
The Caribbean Oceanic Restoration and Education Foundation is a nonprofit, tax exempt charitable organization (tax identification number 66-0764897) under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.