Costa Rica Combats the Lionfish in the Caribbean Alongside Mexico

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) said that Costa Rica will start fighting the lionfish, which is an invasive species that is affecting the Caribbean, with the support of Mexican experts to help outline the action plans.

    The lionfish, native to the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific, which feeds on fish, lobsters, and other crustaceans, is impacting coral reefs and biodiversity of places like Cahuita and Manzanillo (South Caribbean), which has been hurting fishermen in the area.

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    “We do not intend to eradicate the lionfish; that is not possible or feasible from an economic, environmental or social standpoint. What we will do is control it and return our ecosystem to a balance,” said the Minister of Environment and Energy, René Castro.

    Fishery authorities claim that workers in the Caribbean have reported a reduction in their catches of lobster, shrimp, crabs and some fish, between 80% and 87%.

    With this data, Costa Rica is now seeking strategies to work with Mexican experts of the Regional Lionfish Committee for the Caribbean and the Commission of Natural Protected Areas of Mexico (CONANP).

    Among their efforts is to develop a monitoring system, research the specimen, strengthen legislation and control playback of lionfish.

    It is estimated that each year between 1.5 and 2.5 million eggs are hatched per fish.

    According to Minister Castro, it is also important that people get involved in efforts to fight this battle because this invasive species “has a commercial value and must learn how to market.”

    Sinners found specimens up to 30 inches and weighing 2.5 kilograms and have reached an estimated sell price of $8. (ACAN-EFE)

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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