Though evidence of predation is beginning to emerge, and cullers are reporting populations on the decline, Lionfish University told Cayman 27 in a conference call with a top US scientist it’s not yet time to ease up in the fight on the invasive predator.
Next month, Dr. Steve Gittings, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Chief Scientist for the US National Marine Sanctuary System will be in Little Cayman to continue field testing on a lionfish trap funded in part by Lionfish University.
Dr. Steve Gittings told Cayman 27 in areas with flat hard bottom, the lionfish even seek out the trap.
“The fish, as you know, just like structure, they hang out around the perimeter of these traps because we present them with structure, that’s inside the trap. The longer you leave them in the water the closer the fish hang out near the trap,” he explained.
Dr. Gittings said his traps will likely be most effective beyond recreational diving limits, and can possibly even be scaled to attract juvenile lionfish in shallow mangrove areas.