Community Police in Collier County recently took part in an extraordinary effort to combat invasive fish species in Southwest Florida. Joining forces with the Southwest Florida Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, Officer Rubenstein participated in a large-scale invasive fish roundup event that resulted in the removal of more than 2,000 pounds of invasive species.
The event attracted more than 100 participants, forming 38 teams dedicated to the removal of invasive fish from the region. Through their combined efforts, an astonishing 2,600 pounds of invasive fish were caught and removed from Southwest Florida's waterways.
All those dead fish won't go to waste either. What sets this initiative apart is the approach with sustainability in mind taken toward managing the harvested fish. Instead of simply discarding them, the removed invaders will be composted and used within the community's other environmental efforts.
Invasive species pose a significant threat to native wildlife and ecosystems, often out-competing indigenous species for resources and ultimately disrupting the delicate balance of eco-diversity. Events like the invasive fish roundup provide an opportunity for communities to come together and take action against these destructive invaders.
The successful efforts of Officer Specialist Rubenstein, the Southwest Florida Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, and volunteers set an example for other regions that may be facing similar challenges — that through collaboration, dedication, and environmentally conscious practices, together, Floridians can help protect native ecosystems and preserve the natural beauty of the planet for future generations.
Did you know that Florida hosts a state-wide invasive species fishing challenge for prizes every year? That's coming up this June! Click here to learn more about this year's Lionfish Fishing Challenge.
Article by Rachael Volpe