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

A diver spears a number of lionfish.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

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 .

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