Spring and Summer of 2014 promise lionfish derbies galore, an attempt to control the alarmingly increasing lionfish populations in the Caribbean. The derbies announced so far by the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) include the Green Turtle Cay Lionfish Derby in Turtle Cay, Bahamas; and in Florida, the Teeples Memorial Fort Lauderdale Lionfish Derby; Palm Beach County Lionfish Derby; and the Key Largo Lionfish Derby at the John Pennekamp State Park.
In most derbies, team captains put together a team; the team captain must be one of the four participants in the derby, but does not need to be the captain of the boat. The derbies include attention to safe collecting and handling techniques for collecting lionfish. All lionfish are turned into the scoring station. This is followed by scoring, demonstrations, and lionfish tastings, usually followed by an awards dinner banquet.
The Reef Environmental Education Foundation is a grass-roots organization that seeks to conserve marine ecosystems by educating, enlisting and enabling divers and other marine enthusiasts to become active ocean stewards and citizen scientists.
For more information, see http://www.reef.org/lionfish/derbies and http://www.reef.org/lionfish/events
Photo above from http://www.julietsailinganddiving.com/news/invasive-lionfish/bahamas-lionfish/
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