Through perseverance and teamwork, the SFU team, stationed at The Cape Eleuthera Institute, has made great progress in gathering biological samples to assess the effects of the lionfish predation and other stressors on food webs of local reefs. So far they have sampled 7 out of 16 sites, catching over 300 different fish of different species. The structure and complexity of some sites greatly complicates the sampling effort, so as with any other fishing activities, “some days are better than others”.
It is important to note that their sampling effort is completely non-destructive (yay!)… But what does this mean? Well, they bring the fish up to the boat, fin-clip them, let them recover in floating cages hanging from the boat for 20 min, and then release them back to their home. We hope to finish the next 9 sites in this upcoming month, stay tuned for more updates!by