Florida bans lionfish imports, loosens other restrictions

By on August 6, 2014
Lionfish (Credit: Brian Gratwicke, via Wikimedia Commons)

Lionfish (Credit: Brian Gratwicke, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has enacted a new rule banning the importation of lionfish for the aquarium trade, according to WUSF News. Officials say the rule is meant to limit any further introduction of the invasive fish into the state’s waters.

The commission is also loosening other regulations that could be protecting lionfish already in the state. This means younger lionfish can be removed from Florida waterways for aquarium use. Limits on spearfishing the species are also being reduced.

Lionfish were introduced to the Sunshine State more than 30 years ago. Experts say they have hurt populations of native wildlife and have expanded rapidly without natural predators to control them.

Image: Lionfish (Credit: Brian Gratwicke, via Wikimedia Commons)

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