TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A temporary rule making it easier to catch lionfish in Florida waters will soon be permanent.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday adopted changes that will waive the recreational license requirement for divers harvesting lionfish using certain gear and exclude lionfish from the commercial and recreational bag limits.
New rule change: FWC made changes that will increase lionfish harvesting opportunities. The newly adopted rule will take effect before the a temporary rule in place last August expires, so there will be no lapse in the expanded permissions.
A recreational fishing license is not required for recreational fishers targeting lionfish while using a pole spear, a Hawaiian Sling, a handheld net or any spearing device that is specifically designed and marketed exclusively for lionfish. There is no recreational or commercial harvest bag limit for lionfish. Learn more about harvesting lionfish. Read the new Executive Order on lionfish harvesting.
Before the change, recreational anglers could not catch more than 100 pounds of lionfish without a commercial license.
Lionfish have no natural reef predators and compete for food and habitat against domestic species such as grouper and snapper. The fish belong in the Indian and Pacific oceans.