Florida is known for its vast array of wildlife and fish species. Unfortunately, many of these are non-native and invasive species. Collectors often think having “cool” pets are fun and intriguing until they grow too large to handle. Sadly, these “pets” are often released into the wild. Lionfish have become a problem in the waters of Florida after being released. Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is working to remove as many as possible. They are currently using fun-filled events and education to help in this awareness program. Please keep in mind that invasive species create damage to habitat needed by native species. Many times these species can threaten the populations of local species as well. Never release non-native species into the wild. See how Florida’s lionfish removal day ended up this year!
“Residents and visitors across Florida enjoyed another weekend of learning about and helping remove lionfish as they participated in events during the third annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, May 20 (first Saturday after Mother’s Day). More than 4,000 people attended the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) two-day festival in Pensacola, where visitors got to taste lionfish prepared by celebrity chefs, watch fillet demonstrations, participate in family-friendly games, visit art and conservation booths and much more.”
“Remember, lionfish and other exotic pets that can no longer be cared for should never be released into Florida waters or lands.”