by Anna Clark | Coastal Watch Alliance

Photo Credit: Malcolm Ballinger | Ballinger Publishing

Photo Credit: Malcolm Ballinger | Ballinger Publishing

Coast Watch Alliance was awarded a grant for $106,000 to “Commercialize Lionfish” by the harvesting and control of this invasive species off of Santa Rosa & Escambia County reefs.

This grant will support outfitting lionfish control divers, support other local divers and charter boats interested in control, as well as outreach and education to encourage restauranteurs and wholesalers to buy and serve this sustainable seafood resource.

“We hope our efforts will identify best practices, and appropriate metrics for lionfish control in our local counties as well as other affected areas,” says Anna Clark, Executive Director at Coast Watch Alliance.

Anna, also the Global Environmental Manager for Intel Corporation, has worked with other passionate individuals, business leaders and other members of the Coast Watch Alliance board in the Pensacola area to not only help raise awareness of this serious threat to local reef species, but to execute actual control measures.

Photo Credit: Malcolm Ballinger | Ballinger Publishing

Photo Credit: Malcolm Ballinger | Ballinger Publishing

“We are dedicated to finding the best and most cost effective lionfish control solutions to protect our fisheries, supporting additional data and research needs, and sharing those practices with others”, she said.  “If you want to help out, join us in this effort, or do your part by requesting lionfish at your local seafood restaurants and market, or consider donating to groups that are trying to mitigate this serious issue.”  www.coastwatchalliance.org

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