FWC On Lionfish Control Efforts: App Gets Needed Upgrade, 'Adopt A Reef' On The Way

Dec 22, 2014

The interactive map of the "Report Florida Lionfish" app
Credit FWC

An app unveiled by Florida Wildlife officials months ago to combat invasive lionfish has received some upgrades.

“Report Florida Lionfish” app

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says the “Report Florida Lionfish” app has been doing pretty well with thousands of downloads since its May launch. And, she says the users’ experience has now improved.

“We have a new map on there now that allows you to see where all the lionfish sightings have been,” said Nalley.

Nalley says despite some early glitches, the map now includes data that you couldn’t see before.

“…so that when you see a point that it’s accurate, that it’s where the lionfish is, or was sighted. And, you can see the pictures that people were submitting, how many lionfish were spotted, or removed from that area. And, the basic data will all be on that map as well as all of our artificial reefs,” she added.

FWC officials are trying to encourage the removal of lionfish from Florida waters to control the growing population of a fish that has no natural predators.

"Adopt A Reef" Program

Also included in state wildlife officials' control efforts is a program that hasn’t quite yet gotten off the ground yet. But, FWC spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says it’s similar to an “Adopt the Highway” program, except you’d be adopting a reef.

“And, your group is in charge of making sure that that reef is clean of lionfish or once a month you pledge to go to that reef and remove lionfish from it,” said Nalley. “It’s not really going to be out to the public—you know available for people to participate—until the Spring or so.”

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.