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Updated: 04/24/2014 10:48:06AM

Stopping the lionfish invasion

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By Josh Olive

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Last week, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission took the bold step of proposing a ban on the importation of lionfish. The FWC didn’t come up with the idea all on their own; they had some help from our state legislators. This coalition has come up with a multi-part plan: No lionfish imports, no lionfish aquaculture, but lionfish can be caught from state waters and sold in the aquarium trade.

“By targeting the importation of lionfish to our state, we can limit the number of new lionfish that find their way into Florida waters and, at the same time, encourage further harvest to reduce the existing invasive population,” said State Rep. Holly Raschein, sponsor of the House bill. “These fish pose a significant threat to Florida’s ecosystem, and I am proud to stand in support of the proposed ban. Anything we can do to limit new lionfish introductions and further facilitate the development of a commercial market for this invasive species is a step in the right direction.”

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