Invasive Lionfish

invasive lionfish in park
Lionfish caught in the park by a resource manager.

NPS image by Yasmeen Smalley

Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans, Pterois miles) have spread from the Caribbean Sea to Northern United States coastal waters. In some areas of the Atlantic Ocean they are now as abundant as native grouper species. Sightings of lionfish in park waters occurred as early as 2008, yet lionfish were rare until 2010. They are actively removed from park waters whenever possible.

Threats posed by lionfish:

  • Lionfish are voracious predators that compete for food resources of commercially and ecologically important fish including snapper and grouper.
  • Lionfish have venomous spines that can cause intense pain, swelling, headache, nausea, paralysis and convulsions. They are not timid.
  • Lionfish have few natural predators in the Atlantic Ocean.

How to Help -

  • Report park sightings here or dial 786-335-3649.
  • Include information such as photographs, date, location, time, GPS coordinates, depth, habitat, number, size and behavior.
  • Avoid handling or contacting venomous fins.
  • Please do not release lionfish back to the ocean.

Lionfish have a flavor comparable to hogfish or snapper. Safely remove their venomous fins and they become a tasty treat!

Additional Information -

Captured Lionfish on Ice
This lionfish was removed from park waters


Last updated: December 21, 2017

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Homestead, FL 33033


305 230-1144

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