Florida Bans Lionfish Imports state wide

Lion Fish  the new curse of the reefsFriday Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will Ban the import of all Lionfish. Lionfish are known to be popular in fish tanks and aquariums in most parts of the world.In Florida though the Lionfish is an invasive species that has negative impacts on the ecosystem. Florida Bans Lionfish will help keep the population low.


Lionfish in 1985

The lionfish being an native to the indo-Pacific region of the red sea has no business being in Florida.

The first lionfish was reported in Florida in 1985 according to FWC. Having no natural predators in the area the Lionfish population exploded and the species can now be found along much of the Atlantic Coastline, and into South America.

The original source of the species of lionfish release is unknown but is most likely started in someone’s fish tank as a pet and ended up released into the ocean as a nuisance.

Lad Akins, director of of a project for REEF stated that “The Genetics have been traced back to just a few founding fish that started the entire invasion”.

Compared to the pythons in Florida another non native species the lionfish is just as bad if not worse.

Lionfish-Distribution-and-impactNatural Born Killer

The lionfish not having any natural predators in the coastal waters environment are wreaking havoc on the ecosystem. The lionfish has a veracious appetite eating economically important fish such as grouper and snapper when they are small and vulnerable, reducing the population that make it to maturity.

The lack of grouper and snapper are starting to take their tole on the local fishing community. With less fish it is becoming increasingly more difficult for commercial and recreational anglers to get on the fish and Tight Lines.

Lionfish are also eating other species that help keep the habitat in check, such as the parrot fish, which consumes algae.

No end in sight

With lionfish population estimated in the millions their is no end in sight for Florida. The fish has already decimated the small colorful fish that drivers and snorkeler’s come to look at around the reef. the only solution is for Florida Bans Lionfish.

With the Lionfish growing quickly and reproducing early and often the east coast has a major problem on its hands. Producing 12-15,000 eggs every four days. That is a lot of baby fish swimming out there! The lionfish’s population can not be tracked and is projected to be in the millions!

Florida Bans Lionfish Spearfishing a lionfish in the Atlantic OceanCan A Ban Save Us?

A ban in all actuality will do little to stop the increasing population of the Lionfish. State officials are hoping that the ban will keep fish from entering the stat as pets and will encourage those interested in having a Lionfish for their aquariums to catch one from Florida waters. Florida is the only state to impose such a ban thus far.

To date diver removal of the fish has produced the best results in culling the population. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are taking other actions to reduce the population of lionfish, such as allowing divers to spear and catch Lionfish while wearing rebreathers. loosening the ban on rebreathers will allow divers to stay deeper in the water for longer periods of time and just maybe allow them to catch more fish.

You wouldn’t think it but despite the Lungfish’s venomous spines they are quite easy to prepare and make a dang good meal. Lionfish has been showing up more and more in restaurant menus creating a whole new fishing industry.

Make sure to come back and learn how to prepare the Lionfish for a meal soon. With the Florida Bans Lionfish there will be a lot to eat!

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Gregory Beckman

About the Author:

Hi, I am Gregory Beckman, as the main owner of Military Hunting and Fishing let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I am currently an active duty member in the United States Coast Guard. I have been privileged to traveling the world. My experiences have shaped the way that I see the world and my memories will stick with me for a lifetime. Although I may not live in the country, the country lives in me. Traveling the world I have had the chance to experience the wonders of nature in many different places, meeting many different people and tasting wild game that the normal person would not get to experience. Although these experiences have kept me away from home, it has instilled a deep passion of hunting and fishing in my blood. Thank you for joining our site, and I look forward to interacting and sharing stories of our hunting adventures. Gregory A. Beckman
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