Common Sea Fans (<em>Gorgonia ventilina</em>) are one of several species of sea fans found in southeast Florida. Sea fans are also classified as soft corals or gorgonians.

Common Sea Fans (Gorgonia ventilina) are one of several species of sea fans found in southeast Florida. Sea fans are also classified as soft corals or gorgonians.

Photo: Chantal Collier

Juvenile bluehead wrasses swim along the reef in Palm Beach.

Juvenile bluehead wrasses swim along the reef in Palm Beach.

Photo: Joe Marino

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Southeast Florida Reef News

Interagency Lionfish Workshop a Success

Katharine Tzadik
Environmental Project Coordinator

Lad Akins and Alicia Adamson (REEF) demonstrating collection techniques during the workshop. Photo Credit: Christopher Boykin
Lad Akins and Alicia Adamson (REEF) demonstrating collection techniques during the workshop. Photo Credit: Christopher Boykin

Along with 12 other agencies, including Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Sea Grant, and U. S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Coral Reef Conservation Program participated in a workshop held on the 18th of January to initiate dialogue among agencies and interested parties regarding the invasive lionfish issue along the Florida Reef Tract. Participants represented local, state, and federal resource management authorities, scientists and academians, and non-governmental organizations.

One of the main outcomes from the workshop was that (FWC) should take the lead in management plan development and that partners should establish “one voice”, using the same materials across the region, and collaborate on events (e.g., lionfish derbies) across the region.

Lad Akins from Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) presented an overview of the current scientific knowledge of the invasion history, biology, ecology and impacts of lionfish, current research findings, and collecting/handling techniques. Group activities were conducted to prioritize key issues concerning the lionfish invasion and initiate future management strategies.

Main Outcomes:

-          FWC will take the lead in management plan development

-          USGS will be the main point of contact for new sightings

-          REEF will be the main point of contact for capturing data

-          The need was highlighted for better dissemination of the data/information that is available and to determine where there are data gaps

-          Establish “one voice”; all groups will use the same materials across the region, and collaborate on events (e.g., lionfish derbies) across the region

 

Next Steps:

-          Collaborate with partners to offer more workshops for the public

-          Continue dialogue with other agencies.

-          Coordinate a symposium regarding research in Florida and possibly the Caribbean, highlighting data gaps and research needs.



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