The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or FWC, is taking an unconventional approach to combating invasive species. Its new smartphone app may hold the key to eliminating lionfish from the Florida coasts.
The FWC took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to announce its newest smartphone app titled Report Florida Lionfish. Through the app, users can submit lionfish data such as population size, location and how the fish are being harvested.
Lionfish are an invasive species that started appearing off the Atlantic coast in increasing numbers since the mid-2000s, according to FWC. They have no native predators, multiply quickly and eat Florida’s native fish.
FWC spokeswoman Amanda Nalley sees the app as valuable tool for taking back the Florida coasts.
“Hopefully by having this app, by being able to collect this additional information, we’ll be able to discover new tools and new ways to control the lionfish population,” Nalley says.
This isn’t the only app under the FWC’s umbrella. The conservation group recently unveiled a similar app for reporting sightings of the endangered gopher tortoise.