Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wildlife officials remove more than 15,000 lionfish from Florida waters

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2018 at 1:29 PM

click image PHOTO VIA FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE/FLICKR
More than 15,000 lionfish were recently removed from Florida waters as the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has started a more than three-month effort to remove the invasive species from state waters.

Nearly 14,000 lionfish were harvested in waters off Pensacola at the Lionfish World Championship and a pre-event. The Lion Tamer Tournament in Panama City Beach pulled in 1,490 lionfish, while 231 were captured at the Florida Skin Divers Association Lionfish Calcutta in St. Petersburg.



The tournaments Saturday kicked off the 2018 Lionfish Challenge, which continues through Sept. 3. The state agency doesn’t have an estimate on the number of lionfish in state waters.

However, among the lionfish captured over the weekend were five in Escambia County waters from 50 that had been tagged at public artificial reefs.

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission offers cash prizes of up to $5,000 for tagged lionfish. The commission said more than 200 people have registered to participate in the challenge, which includes prizes for lionfish removals.

Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill aimed at reducing the number of lionfish and other invasive species that cause damage in the state.

The bill (SB 168), unanimously approved by the Legislature, established a pilot program that allows the commission to enter contracts with people to capture or destroy lionfish, tegu lizards and pythons on public lands and in state waters.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter. 

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Calendar

© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation