The invasion of lionfish throughout Florida waters is a challenge to native Florida wildlife and to the ecosystems where they live. The state has organized derbies and training sessions on how to catch — and cook the fish — which have no natural predators here.
This year, there may be another strategy in the battle against lionfish. The state Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission could reward lionfish hunters with an extra lobster during this year's two-day sport mini-season, scheduled for July 29-30.
Under a proposal scheduled for consideration at the commission's meeting in Sarasota Thursday, bug-hunters would be able to catch an extra lobster during mini-season after catching at least 10 lionfish.
Under the proposal, the extra lobster could come only after all 10 lionfish had been caught and would be limited to one extra lobster per person per day.
The regular season for catching lobster, both commercially and recreationally, starts Aug. 6.