Lionfish Invasion

GCFI has been engaged in the research and management of the invasive Pacific Lionfish through a number of activities.   These have included

  1. Hosting the NOAA web portal dedicated to the emerging lionfish issue
  2. Publishing the NOAA Lionfish Management and Control manual in three languages in as an e-book [Eng] [Esp] [Fr], pdf  version [Eng] [Esp] [Fr], and mobile version [Eng] [Esp] [Fr].
  3. Hosting special symposia, workshops, and sessions dedicated to lionfish research, management, and control at the annual GCFI conferences
  4. Facilitating the special lionfish publication in Marine Ecology Progress Series dedicated to the lionfish invasion

Sargassum Influx

Massive strandings of pelagic sargassum have occurred along many coastlines across the Caribbean since 2011. In response to the associated socio-economic impacts and environmental impacts, a variety of mitigation actions have been implemented to cope with this new phenomenon in the region. The observed management responses have generally been reactive, uncoordinated and not always sustainable, which highlighted the need for better coordination and sharing of information and experiences to develop best management practices to deal with this new, and likely reoccurring phenomenon within the region.

GCFI has published a Fact Sheet about the pelagic sargassum influx in English, Spanish and French. GCFI also co-authored a management brief [hyperlink] about the sargassum influx with key partner CERMES and SPAW-RAC.

At each of the 64th, 65th and 67th GCFI meetings, single presentations were made about the sargassum influx. At the 68th GCFI, marked multiple presentations focused on the subject, in diverse sessions and related to differing aspects of research and impact assessment. For the first time at the 69th GCFI there was a special session dedicated to sharing the latest advances in research and management recommendations to address the various impacts and regional needs associated with the sargassum influx. Extended abstracts can be found in the searchable database of proceedings [hyperlink].

In response to the Sargassum influx in the eastern Caribbean in 2018, GCFI commissioned the development of a poster which details how to best respond to this massive influx. The poster is intended for use by the tourism industry including hotels and resorts, coastal zone managers, fisheries ministries, and homeowners.

print version (28mb) and instructions to print the poster are available. Are you sharing this poster with tourism contacts?  Please add this seal.

A digital version (0.6 mb) for ease of sharing electronically is also available.

Florida Coral Disease Outbreak

Recently there has been a coral disease outbreak along the Florida Reef Tract that has impacted numerous species of stony corals.  We would like the GCFI community to be aware of this outbreak and on the lookout for it throughout the wider Caribbean region. Please see this information sheet and revisit this page often for more information as it becomes available.