The sun shone down on me as I set up my booth at the Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day in Pensacola, Florida. Though I was there to talk about the Emerald Coast’s artificial reef and Gulf to Table program, the day definitely revolved around the invasive species that has taken the Florida coast by storm.
Lionfish are native to the Pacific and Indian Oceans, where they have natural predators that keep their numbers at bay. In 1985, the first recorded lionfish was spotted off the coast of Florida’s Dania Beach. Since then they have spread up the Atlantic coast to North Carolina, as well as into the Gulf of Mexico.