National Park Service studying Lionfish status

You can find here photos, videos and information about the 7 miles of the National Seashore that includes Opal Beach between Navarre Beach and Pensacola Beach. Here you will find updates about the reconstruction of the National Seashore Road.
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AngelGirl
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National Park Service Studying Lionfish Status At Gulf Islands National Seashore
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By NPT Staff - May 21st, 2021

Lionfish compete for food with native predatory fish such as grouper and snapper/NPS, Yasmeen Smalley

Whether nonnative lionfish have reached the waters of Gulf Islands National Seashore in Florida is the focus of research getting underway Saturday and running into October.

A total of four survey dives will be conducted by the Ocean Strike Team in partnership with the University of Florida Extension Program. The purpose of these surveys is to determine the extent, if any, of the lionfish within Gulf Islands National Seashore on the estuary side to the west of Fort Pickens.

With few or no predators, and a high reproductive rate, the nonnative lionfish is an invasive species of concern. It can quickly invade marine environments and threaten ecosystems by out competing native fishes and consuming a variety of species, significantly reducing juvenile populations of native fish.

Lionfish are not aggressive, but better observed from a distance. Lionfish have venomous spines that are used as a defense mechanism and can sting humans. A lionfish sting can result in pain and swelling of the contacted area. The fish's flesh is not poisonous and is edible.

The rapid expansion of lionfish threatens the resources and values that national parks protect and diminishes the quality of visitor experience. If found, the fish will be removed, and a plan will be developed to manage the invasion.

Any lionfish encountered during these surveys will be removed with pole spears (if large enough) or hand nets/bottles and disposed of properly in accordance with the National Park Service Lionfish Response Plan. The use of spears to fish is strictly prohibited in the park. A special permit was obtained for this study by citizen scientist. The research will also be made available to the public.

To report a lionfish sighting for the purpose of research, contact Rick O’Connor at roc1@ufl.edu or Brady Hale at brady@oceanstriketeam.org.
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AngelGirl


Once again, Jesus spoke to the people and said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12 BSB
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Pete
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Fri Jul 23, 2021 9:58 am

Occasionally find a restaurant that serves Lionfish - they are tasty! Wish more would so to encourage their harvest.
Cheers, Pete
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PensacolaKid
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Thu Jul 29, 2021 8:47 am

I have seen a couple of shows on Saturday morning's (fishing shows) that featured diverse diving off the Pensacola Coast near wrecks and it showed literally hundreds of Lionfish and showed these guys and gals pole spearing them and putting them in containers. They then took them back, filleted them and fried them. Yes Pete they do look tasty. We need to try and kill as many as possible as they are like mussels and algae, they breed like rabbits and then take over areas. It would not surprise me to see them in or around the Navarre Reef.
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AngelGirl
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Thu Jul 29, 2021 10:28 am

From something I had read, I got the impression they were poisonous to eat ... I guess just poisonous to tangle with!!

https://explore.berkshiremuseum.org/dig ... h-venomous
AngelGirl


Once again, Jesus spoke to the people and said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12 BSB
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