This is a great example of reducing intrusive government regulation and allowing the public to address the problem, providing you the chance you have been waiting for: Let’s overfish and dine this delicacy, but unwanted non-native invasive into oblivion. Read the Associated Press article published in the online Miami Herald: Florida officials encourage lionfish harvests
State wildlife officials want to make permanent a temporary rule in place last August that waived the recreational fishing license requirement when targeting lionfish allowing the unfettered use of pole spears, handheld nets, Hawaiian slings or other devices specifically designed for catching lionfish. Bag limits were also removed.
I cannot understand why there were ever any protections for an invasive species with no natural reef predators and which competes for food and habitat against domestic species such as grouper and snapper.
According to wildlife officials, lionfish off the southeast United States, Bahamas and the Caribbean harm indigenous fish because they eat important juvenile reef species, such as grouper and snapper.
Spearing or using hand-held nets are the most effective method of removing lionfish from Florida waters.
Lionfish have venomous spines but they are edible. When properly cleaned, lionfish yield a white meat that is considered a delicacy.
So here is your opportunity to fish out an invasive species doing its best to remove our beneficial local, commercial and sport fishing species.