Skip to main content

Florida creates smartphone app to curb lionfish invasion

lionfish guardian kickstarter
Image courtesy MyFWC Fickr

The state of Florida has developed a new smartphone app to battle against an aggressive aquatic invader: the spiked lionfish.

Native to the Indian and Pacific oceans, the poisonous predator is known for its venomous needle-like dorsal fins, which can cause pain, nausea and breathing difficulties in humans. After making its way to Florida’s Atlantic coast 25 years ago, the lionfish has been reproducing in the state’s waters at an astonishing rate.

The lionfish is also known for its insatiable appetite and has been rapidly devouring many of Florida’s native fish, such as the yellowtail snapper, the Nassau grouper and branded coral shrimp. Because of this, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has deemed the spiked fish a threat to Florida’s diverse marine ecosystem.

“The lionfish has no known natural predators in the Atlantic … and the ability to spawn year-round,” according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 

The FWC also added: ”They can eliminate species that serve important ecological roles, such as fish that keep algae in check on the reefs.”

To combat this marine invasion, the FWC has developed the Report Florida Lionfish app, which is meant to help state officials collect data and raise awareness about the growing lionfish population.  The app allows users to report sightings of lionfish, so that the fish can be removed from Florida’s waterways.

The first 250 successful users of the Report Florida Lionfish app will receive a free Lionfish Control Team t-shirt, according to the FWC.  Floridians without smartphones can also report lionfish sightings online at

Editors' Recommendations

Loren Grush
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Loren Grush is a science and health writer living in New York City, having written for Fox News Health, Fox News SciTech and…
What is the Temu app? Here’s everything you need to know
Temu logo on an iPhone.

Following an increased marketing push starting in 2023, the Temu app has started to pick up some solid momentum that's driven many shoppers to want to check it out. As new marketplaces start to make their way into the mainstream, however, there's usually a healthy amount of skepticism toward them.

Although it's always a good impulse to be cautious about putting sensitive information into any app, here's everything you need to know about Temu — and if you truly need to be careful.
What is Temu?

Read more
TikTok just launched a new way for you to make money on the app
Person's hand holding a smartphone with TikTok's logo on screen, all in front of a blurred background.

There are already a handful of ways for content creators to make money using TikTok, but now the app is adding a brand new way for creators to monetize their content with the newly introduced TikTok Series.

Announced today in a TikTok blog post, Series are the same types of videos you'd normally find on the app, but they are hidden behind a paywall that individual creators can set. This means that delivering premium content on TikTok is easier than ever before for both creators and their audiences.

Read more
Our 5 favorite iPhone and Android apps by Black developers
An iPhone with apps from Black developers downloaded on it.

As we wrap up the celebration of 2023's Black History Month, it remains important to recognize and appreciate the contributions that Black people have made in various fields, including technology and the smartphone apps we use every day. From social media platforms to productivity tools, Black developers and other people of color have worked hard to create innovative, useful, and just plain fun apps.

Here, we're focusing on five helpful apps developed by Black people that you should check out. These iPhone and Android apps range from ones that help you discover and support Black-owned businesses to ones that provide legal assistance in case of an emergency to ones that curate and highlight sources of news and entertainment by Black creators.
We Read Too

Read more