State approves ban on lionfish

No more importing them for aquariums

State wildlife just gave final approval to a ban on importing lionfish for the aquarium trade in Florida.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has also approved methods that make it easier for scuba divers to catch lionfish in the wild. Aquarium shops would be allowed to obtain new lionfish from divers.

The fish have venomous spines, but they are edible.

The commission gave preliminary approval to the lionfish ban in April. Officials finalized the ban Wednesday at the commission's meeting in Fort Myers. The ban takes effect Aug. 1.

Lionfish are considered as menacing to native wildlife throughout the Atlantic as Burmese pythons are in Florida's Everglades. Both invasive species have thrived far from their native habitats, with no natural predators here to control their populations.