Lionfish are plaguing coral reefs around the globe. Because of the vital threat these creatures bring to our oceans, more organizations are forming to sound the alarm.
Lionfish Central is a non-profit organization committed to the evaluation, education and eradication of invasive lionfish from US reefs. Founded by Scott Gonnello, Lionfish Central is in its fourth year of operation. During this year’s DEMA Show in Orlando, Florida, Gonnello announced several projects the organization has developed to bring awareness to lionfish eradication.
Lionfish Patrol App
Free to download at lionfishpatrol.com, the app allows divers to log their lionfish dives and record their catches. That information builds a global database, and from that data, trends and solutions emerge. Struggling countries and islands now have access to regional trends and data that can help them find better solutions locally.
Lionfish Performance Shirts
Anyone donating US$100/~€100 or more to Lionfish Central can get one of three limited-edition performance shirts at lionfishcentral.org. They are available in short-sleeve, long-sleeve and long-sleeve hoodie.
The Lionfish Reef Heros comic book is a resource to educate young children about the importance of preserving our coral reefs. The cost is $10/~€10.
The Lionfish Podcast
The Lionfish Podcast educates about everything lionfish, and also provides updates on the many projects throughout the four regions that struggle the most – The Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Lionfish Central’s newest project is the Lionfish Patrol Submarine. The underwater vessel is able to dive to 300 feet/91.44m to observe, document and will soon have the capability to remove lionfish at these depths. The organization is currently accepting donations to fund the project and is testing out an onboard spearing system.
For more information about these projects, go to lionfishcentral.org.
— by Robbie Harper