By Elli Ioakim
A seminar on the safe removal of Lionfish will be hosted on Friday at the Larnaca Marina pier for anyone that wishes to join the lionfish removal teams (RAT’S).
Lionfish is an invasive species that can harm the ecosystem by being a top predator and humans with their painful sting. The rising sea temperatures and the release of the fish after being purchased as an aquarium fish in the 90s caused a dangerous increase of the species outside the Indo-Pacific Oceans and in the Mediterranean over the last few years.
The 90-minute-long seminar is part of the RELIONMED programme and will start at 19:30. The professional equipment for the removal will be showcased and there will be training on its use and the code of conduct they must follow for their safety.
The lionfish removal teams will go on a mass lionfish removal at Zenobia shipwreck area on Monday. The divers will dive twice to set spots in the shipwreck area.
The Zenobia shipwreck is one of the most popular scuba diving locations in the world, attracting more than 60,000 divers annually and the management of the site strive to maintain diver safety and the area’s biodiversity.
The European research project Relionmed-Life ( Preventing a lionfish invasion in the Mediterranean through early response and targeted removal) is carried out by the Ecology and Biodiversity Lab of the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Cyprus, the Cyprus Scientific company Marine and Environmental Research- MER Lab, Enalia Physis Environmental Reseach Center, Cyprus DMFR and the Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre of University of Plymouth (UK).