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FWC Reports Lionfish App's Success, Also Looks To Make Some Improvements

App user Glen Hoffman's big catch

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.

“… because it has been downloaded by more than 2,000 people,” said Nalley. “We’ve had people successfully submit their data via the app, and we believe it will continue to be a success in collecting data about lionfish.”

She says with more and more people using it every day, she’s heard positive responses as well as suggestions on how to make it better—which her agency expects to make in the near future.

“Some of the suggestions include additional fields for largest and smallest lionfish, allowing people to submit their data without having to take a photo, allowing people to use the photos that are already on their phones to submit to us,” she added.

And, Nalley says that data will be used for a variety of reasons,“such as determining what kind of gear people are using to catch lionfish, determining what areas lionfish are being seen, and that way we can know which areas might be a good place to target lionfish in the future for removal efforts.”

Lionfish are an invasive species with venomous spines that have no natural predators.

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

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.