Over 900 Lionfish caught for Hol Chan Reef Week Tournament
As part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Reef Week 2018 a Lionfish Tournament was hosted at Estel’s Dine by the Sea on Friday, May 11th. The tournament is meant to raise awareness of the invasive species that poses a major threat to marine life. Teams competing for the grand prize were French Angel, Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop, The Dive Bar, Team Bradley, Ramon’s Village, and Sea Star Belize.
Around 7AM, boats headed out to sea fully equipped to catch as many lionfish as they could and hoping to claim one of the fabulous tournament prizes. After approximately eight hours at sea, teams began returning with their ice boxes full of lionfish, ready to weigh and count. A large crowd gathered at the scale to view the huge amounts of fish caught. Out of the total 901 lionfish caught, the smallest was only five centimeters and the largest 40 centimeters.
According to Mariela Archer, organizer of the event, the tournament is one the most important activities during the Reef Week. “These tournaments help in reducing the number of lionfish in the ocean. This year’s turnout was better, almost double the amount from last year was caught,” said Archer.
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Lionfish Tournament 2018 and fillet competition 2018
Smallest fish- Team Bradley
Largest fish- Ramon's Divers
1st Place Lionfish Tournament- Amigos Del Mar
2nd PLace Lionfish Tournament- Sea Star Belize
3rd Place Lionfish Tournament- Ramon's Divers
Lionfish Fillet Competition Winner- Chino, Sea Star Belize