lionfish2 More Than 500 Lionfish Caught by Divers in Keys Derby

Lionfish - A problematic invasive species

You can forget about such trivialities as the amberjack or snapper. Over one hundred divers have managed to bring in more than five hundred Indo-Pacific red lionfish during the first group effort to help decrease the numbers of this wily invader which has set its sights on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

The first of three such get togethers, cleverly dubbed lionfish derbies, brought in some twenty-seven teams which were all gun ho on earning the sweet cash and prizes being dangled in front of them to bring in the most, biggest, and mot tiny lionfish. The big enchilada, one thousand dollars, was given to the group which managed to snare in one hundred and eleven lionfish.

The next “derby” is shceduled to take place this coming October 16th, weather permitting, at Keys Fisheries restaurant in Marathon, and the final event is said to be November 13th at the Hurricane Hole Marina in Key West.

A representative of the Reef Environmental Education Foundation, Lad Akins, has commented that the lionfish are being released inadvertently by pet owners into the Atlantic, and since they have no natural enemies, they are free to breed and take over.

These lionfish have become quite an item, them being offered up in restaurants and such to help keep them down.. Only time will tell if we are winning the battle, or losing…