Lionfish Found Off Pensacola Beach Threatens Florida

By: AP
By: AP

Pensacola Beach, Florida (AP) --

A lionfish captured on a reef off Pensacola Beach is igniting fears of a possible threat to swimmers and local fishermen.

A 6-inch lionfish was captured Sept. 9 off the coast of
northwest Florida. Another one was found in the eastern Gulf of
Mexico, and there have been other undocumented sightings.

Wildlife officials fear the beautiful yet venomous fish could be
rapidly spreading and its population could explode.

Environmental administrator Jon Dodrill says the biggest concern
is the lionfish will destroy recreational and commercial fish
populations. If they show up closer to shore, inexperienced divers
could run into one.

There are no major predators or diseases to control their
population. But Dodrill says the fish are tasty, so maybe that can
help control their numbers.

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  • by Charlie the Tuna on Oct 7, 2010 at 06:55 AM
    Anonymous @ 5:00 - please note that the spread of lionfish has NOTHING to do with oil (there has always been oil in the Gulf) or chemicals dumped in the Gulf. It is the result of greedy pet dealers that sell these things, and of ignorant or just plain stupid owners that release the fish.
  • by Colby Location: Fairhope, AL on Sep 27, 2010 at 09:48 AM
    The Childress Foundation and Research Group has been formed to help address the invasion of the Lionfish. They can be found at: or
  • by Armand Dillow Location: Coast on Sep 23, 2010 at 02:56 PM
    These are good to eat - learn to cut the spines and enjoy - take as many as possible, but the FWCC will probably place a limit on them and require a special license. Yes, they will be a voracious predator and just another stress on natural systems - like the greedy sportsfishermen!
  • by Anonymous on Sep 23, 2010 at 02:00 PM
    It's all that oil in the water, plus the chemicals that were dumped
  • by downsouth on Sep 23, 2010 at 09:33 AM
    They will wipe out our fishing industries! Catch and filet....
  • by fisherman Location: ga on Sep 23, 2010 at 08:31 AM
    Hey caught one back in july. went out of indian pass.
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