Lionfish

Tim Donovan / FWC's Flickr

This Saturday is not only Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, it’s also the kick off for Florida’s Lionfish Challenge—an incentive program to encourage people to remove the nonnative species. State wildlife officials are doing a bit of a revamp this year.

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Florida’s invasive species problem can be daunting, with real implications for the state’s ecology and economy. The breadth of the issue is spurring some lawmakers to ask if state funding makes a difference.

FWC Screenshot

The Lionfish Removal Challenge is underway, and Florida wildlife officials say so far, thousands of the invasive species have been removed—most from the Panhandle area.

Alicia Wellman / FWC's Flickr

Florida wildlife officials are their latest lionfish removal effort as a great success.

FWC's Flickr

Florida wildlife officials have unveiled a pilot program in the Florida Panhandle as part of their latest lionfish removal efforts.

FWC

Florida wildlife officials are continuing to look into new ways to help target an invasive species plaguing state waterways. They’ve started the lionfish state records program.

FWC

As the spiny lobster sport season begins this July, the Florida Wildlife officials have approved a new way for divers to capture more spiny lobsters, while also helping Florida’s native wildlife and habitat. 

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Florida wildlife officials want more people to sign up for their “Reef Rangers” program. It builds on the ongoing efforts to remove the invasive lionfish species from state waters.

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Florida’s fishing industry has dealt with its fair share of problems, with oil spills and grouper shortages. But as Matthew Seeger reports, an article from Florida Taxwatch exposes another problem- ecological damage caused by a hungry little troublemaker known as the lionfish.

Capital Report: 03-06-2015

Mar 6, 2015

With the ink barely dry on its water policy legislation, the House is already mapping out a plan for land conservation. As Jim Ash reports, Republican leaders began focusing Friday on Amendment 1 and how it fits in to preserving and managing wilderness acres.

Florida lawmakers are looking into reforms related to mental health and substance abuse issues and how it relates to the state’s child welfare system. Sascha Cordner reports.

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The lionfish continues to be problematic for Florida wildlife officials. While nice to look at, the invasive fish is harmful to the state’s nature habitat. The state wildlife agency is designating May 16th as Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day.

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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.

FWC's Flickr account

Florida Wildlife officials are taking a new step to encourage lionfish removal and help control the invasive species. The new rule took effect Wednesday.

In August, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission banned the importation of lionfish for use in the aquarium trade. But, spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says there may be gap in that rule.

FWC

Florida wildlife officials are thanking the public for helping them combat lionfish by downloading the Florida Lionfish-reporting app. It’s a way for residents to share sightings of the invasive species on the go.

Since its May release, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says her agency’s lionfish-reporting app has been a success.

Karen Parker / FWC's Flickr account

Florida wildlife officials are inviting Franklin county residents to take part in an informal workshop to learn more about combatting the invasive lionfish species currently threatening native wildlife. The Thursday event is part of the SciCafé series.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is partnering with the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve to put on the SciCafé workshop.

Amanda Nalley / FWC's Flickr account

A new rule banning the importation of lionfish is among several new regulations aimed at combating the invasive species set to take effect Friday.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says the goal behind making it illegal to import lionfish from out of state in the aquarium trade is to help prevent any further introduction of the spiny fish into Florida waters.

FWC's Flickr account

Florida wildlife officials have approved a series of rules aimed at combating the invasive species lionfish, including an importation ban.

At a Wednesday meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved new rules to make it illegal to import lionfish into the state from other countries or other states for use in the aquarium trade. FWC spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says the reason for the ban—which takes effect August 1st—is two-fold.

FWC Unveils New App To Combat Invasive Lionfish

May 28, 2014
Lionfish
FWC

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.

 

Capital Report: 03-20-2014

Mar 20, 2014

While the so-called Warning Shot bill was being teed up for a vote in the Senate, a couple of gun-related measures made it through the full House today. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, verbal shots were exchanged between lawmakers before a revived attempt to repeal Florida’s Stand Your Ground law once again went down to defeat.

Lionfish Import, Sale Ban Advances In Florida Senate

Mar 20, 2014
Lionfish
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

In the ongoing battle against a non-native fish invading state waters, a Senate committee passed a bill today that prohibits lionfish from being imported or raised in Florida. Fish sellers say they support the general idea of the ban but still have some reservations.

Tanks full of colorful fish line the walls of Carol’s Critters pet shop in Tallahassee, where Jerry Peterson holds the title of Fish Manager. He stops next to a 75-gallon tank. This, he says, is where the lionfish would be if they were in stock.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Thousands of Florida residents and visitors are expected for this year’s recreational Spiny Lobster Season. The two-day sport season opens Wednesday and Thursday.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says as many as 30,000 people are expected to flock to the South Florida region—the main area for recreational Spiny Lobster Season.

The Lionfish May Be More Than A Nuisance For Florida

Aug 1, 2012
REEF

The first report of lionfish in the Gulf of Mexico came two years ago. Compared to the first sighting over twenty years ago in the Atlantic Ocean, the lionfish’s arrival is relatively new. Theories of how the invasive species ended up in Florida's waters include a mix of once unwanted pets being released and escaping aquariums during Hurricane Andrew. But whatever the case may be, now the invasive species has reached high enough numbers to raise concerns.