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Florida to recruit divers to combat lionfish

Fishery managers will urge Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation voting board members to take more steps that allow divers to kill lionfish
Credit:   Peter Symes
Divers are already armed and ready to take on the invasive species
Florida law bans the use of rebreathers for all spearfishing. An exception should be made for lionfish

Localized harvest efforts have been shown to significantly reduce the densities of lionfish on shallow water reefs.

The state already has taken several steps to increase the harvest of lionfish, such as allowing divers to spear or capture lionfish without a saltwater fishing license. Anglers need a fishing license but can take as many lionfish as they want.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation cites Key Largo lionfish derbies as examples of how allowing the spearing of lionfish in waters normally closed to spearfishing proved to be "excellent opportunities to safely facilitate lionfish removal."

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