Soares, Marcelo de Oliveira ORCID:, Pereira, Pedro H.C., Feitosa, Caroline V., Maggioni, Rodrigo, Rocha, Rafael S., Bezerra, Luis Ernesto Arruda, Duarte, Oscar S., Paiva, Sandra V., Noleto-Filho, Eurico, Silva, Maiara Queiroz M., Csapo-Thomaz, Mayra, Garcia, Tatiane M., Arruda Júnior, José Pedro Vieira, Cottens, Kelly Ferreira, Vinicius, Bruno, Araújo, Ricardo, Eirado, Clara Buck do, Santos, Lucas Penna Soares, Guimarães, Tainah Corrêa Seabra, Targino, Carlos Henrique, Amorim-Reis Filho, José, Santos, Wagner Cesar Rosa dos, Klautau, Alex Garcia Cavalleiro de Macedo, Gurjão, Lívio Moreira de, Machado, Daniel Accioly Nogueira, Maia, Rafaela Camargo, Santos, Emanuel Soares, Sabry, Rachel, Asp, Nils, Carneiro, Pedro B.M., Rabelo, Emanuelle F., Tavares, Tallita C.L., Lima, Gislaine Vanessa de, Sampaio, Claudio L.S., Rocha, Luiz A., Ferreira, Carlos E.L. and Giarrizzo, Tommaso (2023) Lessons from the invasion front: Integration of research and management of the lionfish invasion in Brazil. Journal of Environmental Management, 340 . p. 117954. DOI

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After successful invasions in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, lionfish (Pterois spp.) have recently invaded another important biogeographical region —the Brazilian Province. In this article, we discuss this new invasion, focusing on a roadmap for urgent mitigation of the problem, as well as focused research and management strategies. The invasion in Brazil is already in the consolidation stage, with 352 individuals recorded so far (2020–2023) along 2766 km of coastline. This includes both juveniles and adults, including egg-bearing females, ranging in length from 9.1 to 38.5 cm. Until now, most of the records in the Brazilian coast occurred in the equatorial southwestern Atlantic (99%), mainly on the Amazon mesophotic reefs (15% of the records), northeastern coast of Brazil (45%), and the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago (41%; an UNESCO World Heritage Site with high endemism rate). These records cover a broad depth range (1–110 m depth), twelve protected areas, eight Brazilian states (Amapá, Pará, Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, and Pernambuco) and multiple habitats (i.e., mangrove estuaries, shallow-water and mesophotic reefs, seagrass beds, artificial reefs, and sandbanks), indicating a rapid and successful invasion process in Brazilian waters. In addition, the lack of local knowledge of rare and/or cryptic native species that are potentially vulnerable to lionfish predation raises concerns regarding the potential overlooked ecological impacts. Thus, we call for an urgent integrated approach with multiple stakeholders and solution-based ecological research, real-time inventories, update of environmental and fishery legislation, participatory monitoring supported by citizen science, and a national and unified plan aimed at decreasing the impact of lionfish invasion. The experience acquired by understanding the invasion process in the Caribbean and Mediterranean will help to establish and prioritize goals for Brazil.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA2
Research affiliation: Affiliations > Not ZMT
Ecology > Reef Systems
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.:
ISSN: 03014797
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 10 May 2023 12:45
Last Modified: 10 May 2023 12:45

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