Imported lionfish not welcome in Florida

28 Jul, 2014

Florida sends a stern warning to Lionfish - image courtesy Florida Fish & Wildlife

Florida sends a stern warning to Lionfish – image courtesy Florida Fish & Wildlife

News Release: Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission sent this bulletin at 07/28/2014 09:50 AM EDT

July 28, 2014

Florida is known as a tourist-friendly state, but starting Aug. 1, one visitor will no longer be welcome: the invasive lionfish.

Introduced into Florida waters in the late 1980s, lionfish populations have boomed in recent years, negatively impacting native wildlife and habitat.

Several management changes go into effect Aug. 1 that will help the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) combat the growing problem by making it easier for lionfish hunters to remove the spiny predators and limiting further introduction of the species into the waters.

Florida's new Lionfish Reporting App!

Florida’s new Lionfish Reporting App! – image courtesy FWC.

Changes include:

  • Prohibiting the importation of live lionfish;
  • Allowing lionfish to be removed via spearfishing when diving with a rebreather, a device that recycles air and allows divers to remain in the water for longer periods of time (currently, you cannot spear any fish when using a rebreather); and
  • Allowing participants of approved tournaments and other organized events to spear lionfish or other invasive species in areas where spearfishing is not currently allowed (such as certain state parks or refuges). This will be done through a permitting system.

See or catch a lionfish? Report a sighting by downloading the new Report Florida Lionfish app on a smart device or by visiting MyFWC.com/Fishing and clicking on “Recreational Regulations” (under “Saltwater”) and then “Lionfish.”

To learn more about lionfish, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Lionfish.”

AN/MR/MFM
WBD/SCB

Note from Reef2Rainforest.com – we’ve posted three full excerpts from the July/August 2014 issue of CORAL, including “BANNED” and our July/August 2014 CORAL Editor’s Page, and “Can I Keep My Lionfish?”, which provide additional and specific information on the forthcoming ban covering lionfish from the genus Pterois in Florida.  Additionally, new commentary from livestock suppliers, featuring Kevin Kohen, director of LiveAquaria.com, provides insights into how livestock suppliers are preparing for a ban which directly impacts their businesses and customer base in Florida!

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About the author

Reef To Rainforest
Reef To Rainforest

Reef to Rainforest Media, LLC is the publisher of award-winning magazines and books in the fields of aquarium keeping, aquatics, and marine science. It is the English-language publisher of CORAL and AMAZONAS Magazines and is based in Shelburne, Vermont, USA.

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