Be the predator: Lionfish are a menace in the Gulf of Mexico | 10News WTSP

Local spear fishermen and women are joining the fight against lionfish, a predatory invasive species that eats native sea life and takes over reefs at a rate that has scientists alarmed. 10News tagged along with some of those who love the Gulf best. “Anybody that's in this community knows it's a problem,” said Chris Emmons. It’s a concern he’s had for years since he sees juvenile fish being eaten and not reaching maturity the way they used to. The lionfish are destroying the delicate balance of the underwater ecosystem. The spiny, striped creatures are fascinating to look at and are native to the Pacific Ocean. But during the 1980s, an aquarium was breached and the fish we dumped into the Gulf, where they made themselves at home. Like the pythons in the Everglades, humans have been forced to try to control the population. If we don’t, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is concerned that populations of native fish might not recover.
Published: 11:25 PM EDT May 21, 2019
Updated: 11:25 PM EDT May 21, 2019