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February 2014    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 40, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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One Small Idea for Lionfish Eradication

from the February, 2014 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Aquarists import about 60,000 lionfish a year from the Indo-Pacific. They're all caught by local divers, using a number of simple techniques. Suppose these imports from the Philippines, Indonesia, Hawaii and elsewhere were outlawed, with only lionfish caught in Florida (or an expanded region) being allowed for sale to aquarists. That would not only reduce the Florida population considerably, but also provide quite a few local jobs. Politically, it would be a complicated task, and trying to get the Feds to act would be a monumental effort -- though officials are wringing their hands at the potential destruction of the Florida food fish industry, not to mention the health of the reefs. Perhaps it would be easier to find a way to get the states involved. Nonetheless, I'm floating the idea, hoping some environmental group or policy expert will give it their attention. Given the destruction this fish has brought in the last decade, we don't have much time.

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