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.
“The goal behind this is when it comes to lionfish in your aquarium, what this will do is make sure that those lionfish came from Florida waters,” said Nalley. “We saw what could be a potential loophole there with the breeding aspect and if you had people that were breeding them, then you could get lionfish that way vs. getting it from Florida waters. This is just one more step to make sure that any lionfish that go into the aquarium trade in Florida are being removed.”
So, the new rules prohibit the harvest and possession of lionfish eggs and larvae for any purpose other than destruction as well as prohibit the intentional breeding of captive lionfish.
The only exception is a scientific-research exception that must be approved by the FWC. Having no natural predators, lionfish have a negative impact on native fish and habitats.
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