Over the last five years, lionfish have become a major problem in the Gulf of Mexico. With the ability to reproduce quickly and no natural predators in the Gulf, the non-native invasive species has had a negative impact on marine ecosystems.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has come up with a way to help combat the lionfish, instituting its Reef Ranger program earlier this year.
The Reef Rangers, which currently has 60 participants, volunteer to dive at local reefs to remove lionfish.
“We had a lot of people sign up at our Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (in May),” said Meaghan Faletti, the lionfish outreach coordinator for the FWC. “We also get a lot of phone calls about getting involved and we’re improving our website to attract more participants.”
Read the full story in the July 30 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.