Assessment of Lionfish Ecological Impacts
Lionfish are capable of permanently impacting native reef fish communities across
multiple trophic levels. Energetics modeling and field observations suggest that
lionfish are already consuming the majority of forage fish biomass available on
some reefs, thus they are crowding out native reef fishes through competitive exclusion.
Lionfish occupy the same trophic position as some economically important species
(e.g., snapper and grouper) and may hamper stock rebuilding efforts and coral reef conservation measures. Assessment of these impacts across wide geographic scale
and multiple years is needed to quantify the ecological impacts of lionfish. These
efforts are critical for coupling lionfish impacts to lionfish densities and evaluation
of control and management strategies for lionfish.
- Conduct lionfish ecological impact assessments in U.S. waters throughout the Southeast
U.S., Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean.
- Develop partnerships with Caribbean countries and initiate impact assessments throughout
- Develop standardized methods for lionfish ecological impacts assessments across
various habitat types.
Return to the Invasive Lionfish page.