TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A temporary rule making it easier to catch lionfish in Florida waters will soon be permanent.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday adopted changes that will waive the recreational license requirement for divers harvesting lionfish using certain gear and exclude lionfish from the commercial and recreational bag limits.
The FWC put a temporary rule in place last August. The newly adopted rule will take effect before the temporary rule expires, so there will be no lapse in the expanded permissions.
Before the change, recreational anglers could not catch more than 100 pounds of lionfish without a commercial license.
Lionfish have no natural reef predators and compete for food and habitat against domestic species such as grouper and snapper. The fish belong in the Indian and Pacific oceans.