Most Lionfish (scuba) - Team Sagebrush, San Pedro - 78 Lionfish killed - Team members Brad Blanchat, Kyle Thomas, Eddie Ancona, Bill McDonald, Justin from Amigos del Mar and boat captain Andre Paz
Over Five Hundred Speared at Lionfish Derby in Caye Caulker
It was an amazing turnout being Caye Caulker's first ever Lionfish Derby, drawing crowds to the beachside that wanted to see all the participants coming in with coolers full of Lionfish. An impressive 540 Lionfish were removed from the reef, from the smallest measuring at four inches to the largest that measured an impressive 15 inches. Prizes were awarded for the most lionfish caught while diving, most lionfish while free diving, the largest lionfish and the smallest lionfish. Congratulations to all the winners and kudos to Oceana Belize and organizers for successful event.
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Spear Into Action at Belize's Annual Lionfish Derby
The first annual derby was hosted in Caye Caulker by Barrier Reef Sports Bar, Frontier, Oceana Belize, Blue Ventures volunteers and the Belize Game Fish Association to motivate and award participants who are helping in prohibiting the breeding of the Lionfish.
Fishermen and divers who gather from all over Belize head out to sea in the early morning hours to come back around 3p.m. for the official weigh-in. While some admire the count of fish at the weighin, others enjoy demonstrations on handling and cleaning the venomous fish, filleting as well information on research on the lionfish by Oceana, Forntier and Blue Fentures. The derby awards participants for the biggest and smallest catch, youngest spearfishing group and most Lionfish caught. There is also the gourmet approach where locals and tourists get to enjoy the fresh caught Lionfish in some of the most delicious Belizean inspired dishes. There are plenty of chefs participating in cooking demonstrations and tastings for all those who wish to sample the exotic fish.
Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the "iTravel Belize" Blog
Caye Caulker Lionfish Derby
On Valentine's Weekend, Belizeans showed their love for reef by participating in the first annual Caye Caulker Lionfish Derby. Thanks to their efforts and in less than "warm" conditions, 540 lionfish were removed from the reef. Lionfish caught ranged from four inches in lenght to 15 inches--that's more than a foot long! The event, organized and supported by the Barrier Reef Sports Bar, Frontier, Oceana, Blue Ventures and the Belize Game Fish Association, included collecting research data and sampling. Prizes were awarded for the most lionfish caught while diving, most lionfish while free diving, the largest lionfish and the smallest lionfish. For more than two decades, these invaders have been targeting juvenile fish, effectively decimating native fish populations in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.With no natural predators, rapid reproduction rates and a voracious appetite, lionfish numbers are exploding…and that means bad news for the ecosystems we depend on. The good news? Lionfish is delicious. Once deprived of its venomous spines, lionfish can be prepared like any other fish. To beat them, we’ve got to eat them! Kudos to all!
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