(CNS Local Life): As part of International Year of the Reef (IYOR) outreach efforts, on 19 April the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) aims to engage both local and global audiences through live streaming of an upcoming workshop focusing on lionfish-management work throughout the Caribbean. The event will be held at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI).
Immediately following the workshop/webinar, attendees can stay and learn more about reef herbivores through the IYOR reef lecture series. Both events are free and open to the public, though registration is requested, stated a CCMI press release.
A one-hour workshop, “Strengthening regional and international efforts to reduce the impacts of lionfish and conserve the biodiversity and ecosystem function”, will start at 5:30pm. This will be a live broadcast webinar, bringing together a cross-section of stakeholders throughout the Caribbean who have tackled the negative impacts of the invasive lionfish over the last 10 years.
Participants will have a chance to discuss active lionfish-management strategies, share knowledge and identify best practices that will improve the effectiveness of culling to control the population for future management efforts.
Supported by BEST (voluntary scheme for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European overseas), this workshop will include participants from various Caribbean nations who have lionfish-management efforts in place; local participation is also encouraged.
At 7pm, following the lionfish workshop and webinar, CCMI will host the second in its 2018 Reef Lecture series, “Reef Vegetarians: Who Are They and Why They Matter”, which will be presented by Dr Claire Dell. This lecture will be the first in a series of wider programming for NGCI’s “Year of the Reef” exhibition, opening 3 May.
As the primary researcher on this project, Dr Dell will be tagging herbivores in 2018 to determine their movements and range to measure the extent of their potential impact toward reducing algae, a vital part of maintaining healthy coral reefs, said the press release. In 2017, CCMI received a three-year Darwin Initiative grant to help determine which herbivorous fish are most essential to the health of coral reefs.
Through a partnership between CCMI, the Cayman Islands Department of Environment, and the Smithsonian Institute, this research is bridging local knowledge and global perspective to produce meaningful recommendations for the Cayman Islands and throughout the Caribbean, which will include a draft biodiversity action plan.
During the lecture, Dr Dell will share her work and speak on how important parrotfish and other herbivores are to coral reefs, how the information learned can impact the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean, and how individual choices can impact reef herbivores – and the overall health of coral reefs.
Attendees are also encouraged to bring empty cases of Cayman Islands Brewery bottles to this event to earn a $2 donation for CCMI’s ongoing efforts to protect and preserve coral reefs.
Participants who want to attend the reef vegetarians lecture in person can register online here. Those interested in participating in the lionfish workshop, whether in person or through the webinar, can register online here. Webinar access information will be emailed to registered participants prior to the event.
For more information about the International Year of the Reef and as well as joining CCMI’s “Zero Impact” campaign, visit its website