The presence of the lionfish in Yucatan, since 2010, alerted the fishermen and dependencies linked to the capture of fish and molluscs, since this species is highly invasive.
In 2010 an early warning and a rapid response committee was integrated before the presence of lionfish in the state.
Researchers of the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY), Cinvestav, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); in addition to the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa) and members of the Naval Zone IX, make up this multidisciplinary team.
“We worked on making a diagnosis and define specific tasks, to counteract the presence of the lionfish. Then, specialists went to nine ports; the UNAM was in charge of Sisal, Celestún and Chuburna; the Cinvestav of Chelem, Progreso and Telchac; and the UADY of San Felipe, Rio Lagartos and Dzilam Bravo” said the Secretary of Urban Development and Environment (Seduma), Luis Méndez González.
He added: “the presence of these fish has been detected in Arrecife Alacranes, which is a protected area and this is responsibility of the federal institutions.”
Also, Méndez González pointed out, “what is being done is to promote the capture and fishing of the lionfish to sell it as a fillet because it has a high price, similar to lobster. And many fishermen are now dedicated to catch lionfish and this is the way to counter attack the situation. ”
On the other hand, the interviewee pointed out that the presence of the lionfish does not represent a problem for the Yucatecan coasts.
“The lionfish does not represent a problem in the Yucatecan coasts, however, in this protected area, it is critical, therefore, the fishing and capture of this exotic species is being promoted, and this way the fishermen can make a good profit, since it is quite expensive “, Méndez González concluded.
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