An Assessment of the Viability of a Commercial Lionfish Fishery in the US Virgin Islands
The presence of invasive lionfish in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the difficulties experienced by commercial fishers and concerned stakeholders presents an oddly complementary set of dilemmas. Local stakeholders have difficulties implementing a financially sustainable means of reducing the lionfish population. Meanwhile, commercial fishers are frustrated by the decline in traditional fisheries. In many cases, this decline is in part accelerated by the presence of lionfish outcompeting the native species for the same prey. In other words, the successful development of a market for lionfish could solve several problems including: providing an additional fishing target for commercial fishers, increasing the diversity and amount of fresh fish landed and consumed locally, providing a stable income stream to supplement commercial fishing related businesses (i.e., fishing/dive suppliers, restaurants, etc.), and reduce pressure on wild stocks and the coral reefs (i.e., improve and protect the diversity and resilience of the ecosystem). This study examines the barriers and opportunities in developing a lionfish market for local consumption in the USVI.
Yandle, Tracy, Jennifer Sweeney Tookes, Paulita Bennett-Martin, Sherry Larkin, Michael Page.
"An Assessment of the Viability of a Commercial Lionfish Fishery in the US Virgin Islands."
Marine Policy, 143: Elsevier.