Look, but don't touch. Photo by Michael Dwyer/AP.
The dastardly lionfish, formally known as genus Pterois, will no longer invade our Sunshine State waters unchallenged. Today the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission approved legislation (set to take effect August 1) that bans all importation of live lionfish, while simultaneously allowing for harvesting and hunting of the Indo-Pacific species under certain circumstances. Lionfish have spent years gobbling up our vital native sport and commercial fish. On top of that, these little suckers contain a potent venom in their alluring spikes that will lay a human up for any number of days (that's a healthy human, mind you; if you have severe allergies, forget it, don't even get near that lionfish).
If you've been out wading or angling recently and have spotted a lionfish you wish to report, the FWC provides a lionfish reporting app you may download to your smart device. You may also visit myFWC.com/fishing and file your sighting under the "Recreational Regulations" menu (which itself is under the "Saltwater" menu). Good luck, and stay vigilant!
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