Last weekend across the state of Florida was the “Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival” hosted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The weekend is dedicated to getting local fishermen and avid boaters to take to the Floridian waters and help eradicate the invasive lionfish.
The weekend long event that took place across the state was a huge success! More than 14,000 lionfish were removed statewide. “These numbers are a great example of the agency’s efforts to get the public educated about and involved in lionfish removal,” said Jessica McCawley, FWC's Division of Marine Fisheries Management director. “Events like this one will encourage continued involvement in proactively and successfully removing lionfish.”
The lionfish is a beautiful fish but it is not native to Floridian waters and it wreaks havoc on the local reef and coastal ecosystems. According to an article on Lionfish.com the reason lionfish are such a problem is because they are capable of preying on and eating fish over 1 and a half times their body size. Lionfish have also been known to eat more than 70 different species that are native to Floridian waters, which cause a devastating amount of damage to our reef environments. Lionfish.com also mentioned that “a single lionfish can reduce native marine creatures by 80-to-90 percent within just five weeks.”