Festival-Tournament Targets Invasive Lionfish




The annual Lionfish Removal & Awareness Day—a family-friendly combination of festival and tournament, with activities for divers and landlubbers alike—will be held May 20 and 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Plaza De Luna in Pensacola.
Lionfish, which have venomous spines that are very painful, are native to the Indo-Pacific, but are now established in the waters along the southeast coast of the United States, in the Caribbean and in parts of the Gulf of Mexico. While the exact cause of their presence here is unknown, it’s likely that humans helped. Experts speculate that people have been dumping unwanted lionfish from home aquariums into the Atlantic Ocean for up to 25 years.
Since lionfish are not native to Atlantic waters, these carnivores have very few predators. They feed on small crustaceans and fish, including the young of important commercial fish species such as snapper and grouper.
How lionfish will affect native fish populations and commercial fishing industries has yet to be determined, What is known is that non-native species can dramatically affect native ecosystems and local fishing economies. Experts are still studying these invaders to better understand their role in, and potential threat to, Atlantic Ocean ecosystems. However, researchers with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have concluded that invasive lionfish populations will continue to grow and cannot be eliminated using conventional methods.
The annual Lionfish Removal & Awareness Day is an opportunity for Floridians to take the task into their own hands. Divers removed 8,089 lionfish from Florida waters during the two-day tournament last year.
Plaza De Luna is located at 900 S. Palafox St., Pensacola. For more information, call 850-529-2475 or visit ReefRangers.com.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Pensacola Doctor Holds Book Signing in Fairhope

Bonnie McLean, a doctor of Oriental medicine who practices in Pensacola, will be signing her newly published book, Integrative Medicine: The Return of the Soul to Healthcare, November 3, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Page & Palette, in Fairhope, Alabama.

Obamacare Enrollment Help Now Available Locally

The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida will provide free help, in person or by phone, for anyone who wants to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act during its open enrollment period,

Adventure-Based Teen Counseling in Panama City Beach

A new Emerald Coast organization, New Wave Youth Services, offers adventure-based counseling for teens who are at risk for or recovering from substance dependency.

NPR Named Most Trusted News Brand

National Public Radio news has been named the 2017 Harris Poll EquiTrend News Service Brand of the Year.

Self-Love for All Ages

Wellstock, a festival focused on caring for the self—mind, body and spirit—will be held November 4, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.,

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT