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Information on marine management policies for invasive lionfish in the Western Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea

Citation

Candelmo, Allison C. et al. (2022), Information on marine management policies for invasive lionfish in the Western Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.z08kprrf7

Abstract

The invasion of lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) in the Western Atlantic is perhaps the best studied marine fish invasion to date; meanwhile another lionfish invasion is rapidly evolving in the Mediterranean. We reviewed lionfish management policies from several decades in the Western Atlantic to suggest policy recommendations for the Mediterranean. These strategic recommendations are synthesized in our corresponding manuscript titled: “Lessons from the Western Atlantic lionfish invasion can inform policy and management strategies for their expanding invasion in the Mediterranean.” The policy information that we collected is included in full in this data repository. For this table, information was opportunistically gathered via online searches and discussion with professional and personal contacts for the affected jurisdictions in both the Western Atlantic and Mediterranean regions. Particular attention was devoted to collecting current information on policy changes that permitted directed control efforts for lionfish, as well as management efforts to develop commercial lionfish fisheries for food and other products. Broadly, we found that managers in the Western Atlantic often needed to adapt current conservation policies to enable lionfish removals in areas where spearfishing with scuba was otherwise prohibited for conservation purposes. The risk of fishers abusing these policies was mitigated through the use of gear restrictions and engagement of scuba divers and other stakeholders in lionfish monitoring, removals, and management. Currently, many policies in the Mediterranean generally do not permit lionfish removals given current policies that prohibit take of marine fishes with the use of scuba and spearfishing, even if these fishes are designated as invasive. We note that this data table does not represent an exhaustive review, and also that its information is a static snapshot of current policies (dated early 2022), and we expect these policies to change in the future. In fact, we encourage that any missing information or discrepancies noted be sent to lionfish@reef.org. With these limitations noted, this data table contains robust information regarding policy changes and outreach efforts regarding lionfish across broad geographic regions. Our goal is that this may serve as a resource for researchers, managers, and stakeholders. Coordinated information sharing can assist science-based decision making to better manage impacts by lionfish and the myriad of stressors on marine environments and fisheries resources.

Methods

Data for the table was collected through information found in manuscripts, government and nonprofit websites and reports and through personal communication via email with persons familiar with lionfish history and policy in each jurisdiction. Authors researched content between September 2021 and January 2022.

Usage Notes

We note that this data table does not represent an exhaustive review or each jurisdiction, and also that its information is a static snapshot of current policies (dated early 2022), and we expect these policies to change in the future. In fact, we encourage that any missing information or discrepancies noted be sent to lionfish@reef.org. With these limitations noted, this data table contains robust information regarding policy changes and outreach efforts regarding lionfish across broad geographic regions. Our goal is that this may serve as a resource for researchers, managers, and stakeholders. Data entered by authors is denoted by date and initials in each cell. Reference are included within the cells.

Funding