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FWC Urges Lionfish Divers To Remove Invasive Species Without Disturbing Other Wildlife

FWC FWRI's Flickr
A diver spears a number of lionfish.

Florida wildlife officials say lionfish harvesters are crucial to getting rid of the invasive species. But, lionfish removal divers are urged to safely remove the fish without causing any natural habitat damage.

In a recently released video, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission gives tips for lionfish removal. It includes spearfishing demonstrations for how to remove the invasive species that can have negative impacts on other wildlife. Meaghan Faletti is the FWC’s former Lionfish Outreach coordinator.

“Divers are out there harvesting lionfish in order to prevent further damage to our native marine ecosystems. So, they should keep that in mind that we’re also trying to make sure that us as divers aren’t causing further damage by participating in these activities.”

Some tips for divers include making sure they’re not disturbing natural habitats and keeping their fins off the sea floor. Recommended tools include using spears and containment units, which prevent diver injury from the lionfish’s venomous spines.

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.