Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Florida Wildlife Commission puts smack down on invasive and venomous lionfish

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 5:13 PM

click to enlarge Look, but don't touch. Photo by Michael Dwyer/AP.
  • Look, but don't touch. Photo by Michael Dwyer/AP.

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 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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