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Florida

Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater Fishing

Lionfish

ONE MILLION Lionfish Harvested!

FWC’s Lionfish Control Program began in 2014 with the goal of educating the public about the negative effects of invasive lionfish and increasing lionfish removal efforts. This small, grassroots effort quickly turned in to a statewide phenomenon, and interest in the foreign invader began to boom. In the eight years since this program began, lionfish have been included on restaurant menus around the United States, millions of people have been educated about the invasion, and lionfish have become one of the most widely studied marine invasives in history! The Lionfish Control Program has proved that when people work together, they can create powerful, positive change. The lionfish hunting community in Florida is made up of divers from a multitude of backgrounds, but all of its members have one thing in common: a love for Florida’s underwater resources and a desire to protect them. Thanks to the thousands of people who have come together for this common goal, the FWC has tracked the removal of over one million lionfish from Florida waters through its lionfish outreach and incentive programs.

Background:

The invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish were first reported offshore Broward County, Florida in 1985 and are now well established in the western Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. Lionfish reproduce quickly, complete with native species for food and habitat, and have no natural predators in their invaded range. Because of these, and a host of other invasive characteristics, lionfish are characterized as the worst marine invader to date. The FWC was one of the lead organizations to act by initiating procedures to evaluate the extent of the invasion, developing outreach and awareness messaging, removing potential regulatory barriers to harvest, supporting control efforts, and implementing removal incentive programs.

To learn more about the FWC Lionfish Control Program and how you can get involved, visit:

MyFWC.com/Lionfish