Foundation Receives $90,000 Grant for Lionfish Control & Research

Lionfish prey on more than 70 fish and invertebrate species including yellowtail snapper, Nassau grouper, parrotfish and banded coral shrimp. They compete for food with native predatory fish like grouper and snapper and negatively impact reef health by eating organisms that keep algae in check. With no predators in Florida waters, this Indo-Pacific invasive can reach concentrations of more than 200 adults per acre.

FWFF is partnering with Key Largo-based REEF, the nonprofit Reef Environmental Education Foundation. REEF is dedicated to conserving marine ecosystems by educating, enlisting and enabling divers and other marine enthusiasts as stewards and citizen scientists. The $90,000 grant will fund a variety of lionfish research and control projects over the next year, from Lionfish Derbies held with FWC to lionfish removal dives and testing of promising new control methods.

“Our Foundation is committed long-term to substantial reduction of lionfish,” said FWFF CEO Andrew Walker. “It’s a severe threat to our reefs and fisheries and must be brought under control.”

For more information on the control of lionfish, visit this link. http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/nonnatives/marine-species/lionfish/