BIOS is a member of the Bermuda Lionfish Taskforce, with fellow collaborators from the Ocean Support Foundation, the Bermuda Zoological Society, and the Bermuda Departments of Conservation Services and Environmental Protection. The Lionfish Taskforce was formed in 2012 to coordinate local efforts to control the population of invasive lionfish and limit the impacts of their spread on Bermuda's ecology and economics.
In early 2013, the Lionfish Taskforce successfully applied for and received a $265,000 grant from the Darwin Plus: Overseas Territories Environment and Climate Fund under DEFRA. Research conducted under the grant, managed by Principal Investigator Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley (BIOS Assistant Scientist) will be used to inform the development of a comprehensive Lionfish Control Plan for Bermuda, which will implement long-term control strategies for the invasive population, including the permitting of individuals to spearfish for lionfish and the development of a lionfish-specific trap for commercial fishers.
For the past few years BIOS has hosted the Groundswell Lionfish Tournament, which gives individuals with lionfish culling permits the opportunity to contribute their day's catch to the tournament's total number of fish, adding to the samples available for research. The tournaments also feature educational displays by the Lionfish Taskforce, lionfish handling demonstrations, and a lionfish tasting.
BIOS’s Kaitlin Baird chairs the education and outreach efforts of the taskforce, and is author of the education and outreach plan which works in collaboration with the overall taskforce management plan. BIOS participated in the design of a “Lionfish and other Invasive Species" exhibit which was shown at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute and Kaitlin chaired the 5-part lecture series which funded the exhibit.