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-   -   Lionfish Population Control Proposal (http://www.spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=187549)

Candy 02-11-2016 03:25 PM

Lionfish Population Control Proposal
 
The Emerald Coast Reef Association has proposed an aggressive lionfish population control proposal to the FWC Commission.

This plan enjoys the support of Dr. Robert Shipp, the Marine Industries Association of Northwest Florida, dive shops in Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, Okaloosa County, Walton County and Bay County in Florida, seafood restaurant owners, and more.

To read these letters of support, go here: http://www.ecreef.org/Lionfish_Pages...ish_Contol.htm

The plan is really simple and it's financially sustainable.

Download a tri-fold brochure here: http://www.ecreef.org/Documents/4.19...20Brochure.pdf

How the plan would work
Divers would kill 100 lionfish and turn in the heads to a collection center and in return they would receive 10 native fish tags, 2 each of 5 different native fish species that could be used year round, in-or-out of season.
Divers could keep their lionfish meat. All we want is the heads to prove the lionfish was killed.

The Emerald Coast Reef Association has offered to run the program in the Panhandle at NO COST to the taxpayers. The only thing we need from the FWC is 500 tags for each of the 5 different fish species.

So, how would our fishery benefit from sacrificing 2,500 of our native fish? We would remove 25,000 lionfish from the panhandle waters which would save a minimum of 19.5 MILLION of our native fish from predation by the lionfish and, we would prevent the release of 25 BILLION lionfish eggs the first year the 25,000 lionfish are out of the water.

When you consider a lionfish can live between 10-15 years, the actual impact is much higher because, if left in the water, those 25,000 lionfish would be eating a minimum of 19.5 Million of our native fish, every year, not to mention their offspring would also be eating our native fish! This is why our fishery is in such danger if we continue to allow uncontrolled population explosions to occur.

ECRA is a non-profit but we are much different than other non-profits. ECRA does NOT ask for grant money (YOUR tax dollars) for our programs. All of our officers are volunteers, nobody is making money off our plan.

We plan to keep all 25,000 lionfish heads throughout the entire pilot program to insure program integrity.

It is our hope that this program will pass and be implemented statewide to save Florida's fishery, before it's too late.

If you would like to support this proposal, please go here and sign our online petition: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/...n-methods.html

If you own a dive shop or other business (even this forum) that depends on the health and sustainability of the fishery, we would love to receive a letter of support from you. Please send it addressed to the FFWCC and Governor Scott and send it to me, signed, as a PDF file: candy@valp.net (Do not put your home address or home phone # on the letter, as it will be published!)

Our ultimate goal is to launch this program statewide and then to expand it to neighboring states. This plan is not a solution though. It's a stop-gap measure until the scientific community can come up with an environmentally safe eradication method. That could take years so, we must keep the population from destroying our fishery. Right now, aggressive removals is the only chance we have to save the fishery.

Please support our plan.

Blue2u 01-25-2017 01:24 AM

Re: Lionfish Population Control Proposal
 
I think this is a great idea, any progress thus far?

Candy 01-25-2017 11:00 AM

Re: Lionfish Population Control Proposal
 
Well, sort of. The FWC implemented the program in the FL Panhandle after removing the effective motivator.

First, they made red grouper in season year round with a bag limit of 2 per person. This is great but, sadly it is very rare to find 2 legal sized red grouper in the panhandle state waters in a single day so, getting a tag for a 3rd grouper isn't really that motivating.

Second, they removed all the rest of the really motivating fish species and replaced it with a single cobia tag. Cobia are also in season year round and, in the Panhandle, Cobia are a seasonal fish. Their run through the area is about 3 months in the spring. Mostly, Cobia are a hook and line fish as they are most often seen swimming near the surface and divers tend to swim on the bottom. I have never ever known any diver to get 2 cobia in a single day. Never! So, what is the motivator to earn a tag you will never need unless of course you are also a hook and line fisherman?

If the FWC were to implement the plan as written, or even just give 2 red snapper and 2 gag grouper in exchange for 100 lionfish, tens of thousands of divers would become aggressive lionfish hunters.

You can tell the FWC what you think by e-mailing them at: lionfish@myfwc.com


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