Consultations with key stakeholders aimed to motivate them and ensure their early participation in the project. In addition, public survey and stakeholder interviews will be carried out to assess the baseline awareness. These surveys will be repeated in Action D3 to assess whether the project managed to impact the public and stakeholder perceptions during its implementation.
A risk assessment will be developed, compatible with the EU Regulation on IAS. Collection and analyses of biological material will complement the risk assessment.
An interactive surveillance and early detection system will be demonstrated on MedMIS, which will draw from similar systems developed in the Western Atlantic.
A removal system will be demonstrated, which will draw from similar systems that worked well in the Western Atlantic. Education on the potential lionfish impacts and incentives will be given to motivate and engage fishermen, scuba-divers and spearfishers. Fishermen will be trained on safe handling and collection of lionfish to encourage their participation in removals. Divers will be trained on how to use the removal toolkit and safely handle lionfish. Motivated individuals will be selected to form Removal Action Teams that will participate in lionfish coordinated removal competitions near and within Natura 2000 sites and Marine Protected Areas. These will demonstrate rapid response removals, guided by the surveillance system.
A replication strategy will be implemented to transfer lessons learned and tools developed in RELIONMED to combat the lionfish to key stakeholders of other Mediterranean countries. Local experts in Greece, Lebanon and Israel have agreed to support the transferability of the project outcomes in their countries.
A model will be developed to help managers estimate the removal effort needed to protect coastal ecosystems from the lionfish impacts, and a lionfish management guide with the tools and successful practices for lionfish management will be developed and shared amongst other Mediterranean countries.
Action D1 & D2:
Socio-economic and ecological indicators will be determined early in the project and monitored during the project implementation to assess and quantify the impact of RELIONMED.
An array of tools will be utilised to increase awareness of the public and to sensitise stakeholders. Networking will include meetings and collaboration in joint activities. The dissemination will aim to stimulate public interest and social networks of stakeholders and will be utilised to report sightings and catches.