- Associated Press - Thursday, April 17, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A ban on imports of lionfish into Florida has won preliminary approval from the state’s wildlife commission.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also wants to make it easier for more people to catch lionfish in the wild. Aquarium shops would be allowed to obtain new lionfish from divers.

The changes proposed this week in Tallahassee will be considered for final approval at the commission’s June meeting in Fort Myers.

Florida lawmakers also are working on bills that would implement the ban.

The invasion of lionfish throughout the Atlantic is considered as menacing to native wildlife as the Burmese python’s incursion into Florida’s Everglades. Both invasive species have thrived far from their native habitats, and their numbers have grown largely unchecked by anything except cold temperatures.

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