(Press-News.org) Targeted removals can be effective in suppressing the number of invasive lionfish found within protected coastlines around the Mediterranean Sea.
However, if they are to really be successful they need to be combined with better long-term monitoring by communities and conservationists to ensure their timing and location achieve the best results.
Those are the key findings of a new study, one of the first of its kind to examine the effectiveness of targeted lionfish removals from both an ecological and a socio-economic perspective.
Scientists working as part of the European Union-funded RELIONMED project teamed up with specially trained divers and citizen scientists to conduct a series of removal events and surveys over a six-month period.
Focussed on three marine protected areas on the coast of Cyprus - the Zenobia shipwreck off Larnaca, and two popular diving sites within the Cape Greco Marine Protected Area - between 35 and 119 lionfish were removed per day by divers at each protected site.
Those sites were then monitored by divers over several months which showed that, in some locations, population numbers recovered within three months.
As a result, scientists writing in the Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems journal, say such initiatives can undoubtedly be effective in reducing population numbers.
However, they need to be carefully coordinated to ensure the lionfish are eliminated - including the potential for them to be overfished - in a manner that doesn't have other negative impacts on other species.
The research was led by researchers at the University of Plymouth (UK) and Marine and Environmental Research (MER) Lab (Cyprus). They have been collaborating for several years as part of the €1.6million RELIONMED project, which aims to assess the history of the lionfish invasion in Cyprus, and identify ways to minimise its future impact.
Periklis Kleitou, Research Assistant on the RELIONMED project and lead author on the study, said: "There are many changes happening within the Mediterranean as a consequence of human activity and climate change. The lionfish invasion has been one notable consequence of that, but this study shows there is a potential - albeit complex and challenging - solution. One of the interesting aspects of this work has been to see how the training improved divers' knowledge of the issue, and motivated them to support management efforts. That is without doubt something we can, and should, build on to ensure lionfish populations are managed sustainably now and in the future."
Lionfish first began populating the Mediterranean less than a decade ago, as a result of expansion in the Suez Canal and ocean warming.
The species was first recorded off the coast of Cyprus in 2014, with a lack of common predators - coupled with lionfish's breeding habits - meaning numbers have increased dramatically with sightings everywhere from coastlines to the deep seas.
The first targeted removals took place in May 2019, having proved successful in areas previously invaded by lionfish, and they have been combined with education programmes around the threats the species pose and how it might be managed sustainably.
Professor of Marine Biology Jason Hall-Spencer, senior author on the current study and one of the core group of scientists that advises the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), said: "This study demonstrates the complex nature of managing and protecting our ocean. Marine Protected Areas are undoubtedly beneficial in terms of biodiversity on the seabed, but they are also vulnerable to the spread of invasive species. Our ongoing research is showing the pivotal role citizens can play in monitoring and managing lionfish, but permitting divers to remove these fish using scuba gear will need to be applied with caution and strictly regulated to avoid illegal fishing. If implemented correctly, removal events could protect selected areas from the adverse effects of lionfish, while at the same time help to establish rich and deep links with local communities, strengthening responsibility and surveillance at corporate and social levels, and stimulating public environmental awareness."
The Covid-19 pandemic has improved perceptions of facial attractiveness and healthiness of people wearing face masks in Japan.
Wearing sanitary facemasks was not uncommon in Japan prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Public health initiatives during the pandemic have led to a drastic increase in the use of facemasks as they reduce the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The sanitary-mask effect is a model that predicted how facemasks affected perceptions of facial attractiveness. However, as mindsets might have changed due to the pandemic, it is likely that the sanitary-mask effect has been altered.
A team of four scientists, including Professor Jun I. Kawahara from Hokkaido University's ...
Pregnant women in South East Asia are more likely to use smokeless tobacco than non-pregnant women, despite the added risk of foetal harm during pregnancy.
The study - from the University of York - also suggests that there is no difference in smoking between pregnant women and non-pregnant women in many lower to middle income countries.(LMICs)
Researchers analysed data from 42 lower to middle income countries (LMICs) and also conducted a separate sub-group analysis for the South East Asia Region. (SEAR)
Researchers said the study is the first to report comparative estimates of tobacco use among pregnant and non-pregnant women from the 42 LMICs encompassing 80,454 pregnant and 1,230,262 non-pregnant women.
Dr Radha ...
Results from a new survey of astronomers and geophysicists show that these sciences have a systemic bullying problem; one that is disproportionately worse for women and those from minority groups. In a survey carried out by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) last year of over 650 people in the field, 44% of respondents had suffered bullying and harassment in the workplace within the preceding 12 months. Aine O'Brien, RAS Diversity Officer, will present the key results in a talk at the virtual National Astronomy Meeting on Thursday 22 July.
Key initial findings show:
Disabled, and Black and minority ethnic astronomers and geophysicists are 40% more likely to be bullied than their non-disabled and White colleagues respectively.
Women and non-binary people in the field are 50% more ...
Remote 24-hour monitoring for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy helps to better manage side effects and improve quality of life, finds a study published by The BMJ today.
The researchers say remote monitoring can provide a safe, secure, and "real time" system that optimises symptom management and supports patients to remain at home - and is particularly relevant in the context of the covid-19 pandemic.
Effective symptom monitoring and management is essential during chemotherapy for cancer, but current approaches rely on patients recognising that symptoms are severe ...
Two years on from its pledge to make England smoke free by 2030, the UK government has failed to deliver on the policies it promised to deliver this ambition, say a group of leading doctors, professional bodies and charities in The BMJ today.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for health, they say smoking is likely to have killed more people last year than covid-19 and it will carry on doing so for many years to come unless the government takes action.
They call for a US-style 'polluter pays' levy on tobacco manufacturers to fund the strategy, saying "the time has come to make the tobacco manufacturers pay to end the epidemic they and they alone have caused."
The rate of decline in smoking in the years leading up to 2019 was not sufficient to deliver ...
A new approach to analysing the development of magnetic tangles on the Sun has led to a breakthrough in a longstanding debate about how solar energy is injected into the solar atmosphere before being released into space, causing space weather events. The first direct evidence that field lines become knotted before they emerge at the visible surface of the Sun has implications for our ability to predict the behaviour of active regions and the nature of the solar interior. Dr Christopher Prior of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Durham University, will present the work today at the ...
A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital examined the relationship between active lifestyles and the risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The study followed around 130,000 men and women in the United States over a follow-up period of 10-to-18 years and found that higher levels of physical activity and lower levels of sedentary behavior were associated with a lower risk of OSA. Their results are published in the European Respiratory Journal.
"In our study, higher levels of physical activity and fewer hours of TV watching, and sitting either at work or away from home ...
Not enough progress has been made to address physical inactivity worldwide, with adolescents and people living with disabilities (PLWD) among the least likely populations to have the support needed to meet the World Health Organization (WHO)'s physical activity guidelines. Global efforts to improve physical activity have stalled, with overall deaths caused by physical activity remaining at more than 5 million people per year. 
Physical inactivity is linked to an increased risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers and costs at least $54 billion per year in direct health care costs of which $31 billion is paid by the public sector. The slow progress to improve physical activity worldwide ...
Alexandria, Va., USA - The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) announced David Williams, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK, as the 2021 recipient of the IADR Gold Medal Award. Williams was recognized during the Opening Ceremonies of the virtual 99th General Session & Exhibition of the IADR, held in conjunction with the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 45th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), on July 21-24, 2021.
Williams is a Professor of Global Oral Health at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK. He is currently Co-Chair ...
Evidence of the sustained benefits of an investigational antipsychotic treatment for people with dementia-related psychosis has been published.
Up to half of the 45 million people worldwide who are living with Alzheimer's disease will experience psychotic episodes, a figure that is even higher in some other forms of dementia. Psychosis is linked to a faster deterioration in dementia.
Despite this, there is no approved safe and effective treatment for these particularly distressing symptoms. In people with dementia, widely-used antipsychotics lead to sedation, falls and increased risk of deaths.
Pimavanserin works by blocking serotonin 5HT2A ...