The second known marine Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in Trinidad and Tobago, is the Lionfish, Pterois volitans. Introduced into the Atlantic Ocean from the Indo-Pacific, the Lionfish, was first captured in Castara, Tobago in July 2012 and at Saut D’eau, on the north coast of Trinidad in July 2013 completing its spread throughout the region. Within the Caribbean, predicted impacts include competition with native species for prey and habitat, direct predation on native species, and altered native fish community structure. Research aimed at managing these impacts requires improved information on trophic biology and life history parameters used in models predicting removal rates that will reduce lionfish densities. Since the invasion is a recent one, only a few age and growth studies has been conducted mainly from the northern Atlantic region. This study represents the first age and growth study from the most southern limit of its distribution. Otoliths samples collected from derbies and recreational tournaments Tobago during the period January 2014 to June 2016 have been processed and sectioned and imaged for age readings. Primary and secondary age readings (n= 561) have been completed. This research will be completed in 2017-2018 where growth curves and age and growth parameters will be determined based on these age readings.
Fisheries and Aquaculture
April 14, 2018