Spring Lionfish Tournament Sees 30lbs Caught

April 24, 2017

Bermuda’s first spring lionfish tournament took place over the weekend, with the successful event seeing 25 people registering to enter, about 30lbs of fish being hauled from the waters in 24 hours and more than 50 people attending the weigh-in and prize giving event on Saturday.

“An important aspect of this tournament is that is has been organized by cullers themselves. It is great to see this level of grass roots engagement,” said Minister of the Environment Sylvan Richards.

“The group calling themselves the Lionfish Mafia are to be commended for their efforts and initiative. Invasive lionfish are an ongoing issue for Bermuda’s marine environment, and we all need to work together to remove them wherever and whenever they may be found.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said, “The Ministry is very pleased that this new spring tournament has been added to Bermuda’s annual roster of lionfish culling events. This means that there are now major events covering all four seasons.

“It is hoped these events will motivate and reward our volunteer lionfish cullers, who participate in addition to their ongoing culling activities. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources recognizes that consistent removal of lionfish is key to keeping them under control and minimizing their negative impacts on our marine life.”

More than $1,300 in prizes and cash awards were given to winners of the tournament. Prizes were awarded on Saturday, April 22, in three categories with the results following below:

Most Lionfish

  • 1st Place Team: We Dive After 5 [Mark Outerbridge and Herbie Adderly]
  • 2nd Place Team: Makin Waves [Jade Willams, Stuart Joblin and Tristan Loescher]
  • 3rd Place Team: Daredevil [Brandon Fleming and Justin Tavares]

Largest Lionfish

  • at 32.5cm, Robert Thomas

Smallest Lionfish

  • at 13cm, Mark Outerbridge.

A spokesperson said, “The organizers of this event, The Lionfish Mafia, would sincerely like to thank the sponsors of this event, for without them, it would not have been possible.

“Imports donated three amazing dive lights, Makin Waves donated gift certificates, Rubis donated fuel vouchers, The Lionfish Taskforce donated cash prizes, Butterfield and Vallis donated food for the wrap up party and the Culling Permit Program donated refreshments.”

“Almost all of the fish caught for the tournament were donated to the Lionfish Mafia who represented the Lionfish Taskforce on Sunday at the Marine Expo in St. George’s. The fish were used to give demonstrations on how to safely handle and filet them, and samples were cooked up on a grill provided by Bermuda Gas.”

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Comments (5)

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  1. Good gesture, but using Mafia in a name?

  2. Rasta says:

    Great to get rid of those pesky,greedy lionfish!

  3. Bermuda Lionfish Culling Program says:

    Congratulations to all the participants and those who won prizes!

    And congratulations to the Lionfish Mafia for hosting such an incredible event! Thank you!

  4. SpinCycle says:

    Well done! Very nice to see a diverse group, having fun, and making a positive difference to the community!

  5. sage says:

    Is there video of the robot catching them? I would buy one tomorrow if it is effective, 25 experienced divers can only get 30lbs between them, hopefully it is because there aren’t many around, but it is more likely there are more prevalent out deeper (where the robot can go). Good job still.