Sampling and data collection of the alien species Lagocephalus sceleratus (Tender #: 12/2010, Department of Fisheries and Marine Research) (Completed 2010)

 

Among the efforts to control the increasing population of the invasive pufferfish Lagocephalus sceleratus the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research (DFMR) initiated a tender, won by MER, for the provision of services and collection of samples and data from L. sceleratus catches. Pufferfish captured during regular commercial fishing activities between May and October 2010 were provided by fishermen to six regional offices of the DFMR (around 44000 individuals were collected, most from the south-eastern coasts of Cyprus). MER collected the specimens and randomly analyzed 50 individuals on a weekly basis from each regional office (total ~5000 individuals) to determine length, weight, sex, gonadal weight and maturity, and stomach contents. The fish were combusted to a local incineration unit. The data collected were compiled into a report that was submitted to the DFMR in 2010. Recently we are undertaking efforts to publish this work in a scientific journal.