Over 100 Lionfish Caught In Guardians Derby

November 19, 2018 | 6 Comments

Guardians of the Reef hosted the 3rd annual Bermuda Fall Lionfish Derby recently, with the culling competition also marking the island’s second ‘Reef Sanctioned Derby’ where all participants must be part of a 2-4 person team lead by a Team Captain, with a total 103 lionfish caught during the event.

Bermuda Fall Lionfish Derby November 2018 (1)

Each Team Captain attended one of two meeting in advance of the competition at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute and teams had four days and three nights to explore the reef and remove as many of the invasive species as possible. Some teams were able to dive once, while other teams hunted many times, covering long distances and even diving at night.

This year six teams took part, with 23 participants, including both freedivers and divers on scuba. The weather was not the best over the Remembrance Day Holiday weekend, but at times conditions were favorable for diving where lionfish are found most often this time of year.

Bermuda Fall Lionfish Derby November 2018 (2)

The weigh in was held at Atlantic Mooring Maintenance Ltd. on Monday afternoon where counts were confirmed, paperwork handed in, science done and prizes awarded. In total 103 lionfish were caught.

“Overall, 103 lionfish in four days might not seem like a lot when you consider that thousands are caught in a typical Florida derby, but for Bermuda this a huge number for a similar event,” said Dr. Corey Eddy, Guardians of the Reef’s Chief Scientist.

Bermuda Fall Lionfish Derby November 2018 (3)

“It’s seems that Bermuda hasn’t experienced the explosive population growth common to invasive species, but instead is stuck in an extended lag period characterized by relatively slow growth; I worry that big bang moment is still coming though.”

“We typically see way more lionfish in shallow waters beginning in the fall and lasting through much of spring.”

Bermuda Fall Lionfish Derby November 2018 (4)

“Fortunately, we’ve got a dedicated core group of lionfish hunters, both free-divers and scuba divers, who are very active through these months and will make a big dent in the population.”

Weldon Wade, Guardians of the Reef Managing Director, added, “This was an exciting event that brings out Bermuda’s best and most passionate lionfish cullers. Despite the weather, which was not ideal throughout the Holiday weekend, teams still managed to get out and all together remove over one hundred lionfish.”

Bermuda Fall Lionfish Derby November 2018 (5)

“This event would not have been made possible without every diver that participated, the sponsors and supporters. Thank you! Special mention and thanks to the Bermuda Lionfish Taskforce, Atlantic Mooring Maintenance Ltd., the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, Conyers Imports, Blue Shark Consulting Ltd. and Mr. Jirani Welch from Fisheries for doing the official measurements.”

Bermuda Fall Lionfish Derby November 2018 (6)

The event results follow below:

  • BSAC [3] – Andrew de Melo [cpt], Carl Cuo, Robert Bernard, Eric Krueger
  • Lionfish Mafia [38] – William Gillett [cpt], Andrew Conyers, Tre Correia, Brian Steinhoff
  • LIT Divers Team One [31] – Kweshon Woods-Hollis [cpt], JD Symonds, Rafal von Bur, Mark Wynn
  • LIT Divers Team Two – Greg Veinotte, Sara Veinotte, Josh Dircks
  • Sexy Reef Ambassadors [31] – Vanessa Conway [cpt], Natalie Dylri, Lee Conway, Tim Price
  • The A-Team – Denie Owen [cpt], Apanario Guzzi, John Reyes, Jeffrey Bio
  • Most Lionfish 1st Place – Lionfish Mafia with 38
  • Smallest Lionfish 1st Place – LIT Divers Team One at 10cm
  • Largest Lionfish 1st Place – Lionfish Mafia at 33.7cm
  • Best Group Photo – Sexy Reef Ambassadors

For more information on this and future events visit www.guardiansofthereef.org

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Comments (6)

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  1. watching says:

    Good job!

  2. Real Deal says:

    seems to be a waste of time your not putting a dent in them every year there seems to be more

    • Real Deal says:

      just had an idea since the numbers are this great why don’t government hire some cheep labor to do this all year round. all the meat can be sold at a reduced price to low income families.

      since it is going to low income families the regular fishermen should not have any problems because the low income families would not be able to by fish from a regular fisher man away. so its not like government would be taking away their customers. this should be a win win for everyone. even for the fishermen because this will protect the regular fish that the fisher men normally catch and sell.

      Let me know your thoughts on this idea. my gift to plp

      • cicada says:

        103 fish caught by 23 people over 3 days is barely a model for commercial fishing. If each person spent 4 hrs looking (~100 hrs total at the proposed minimum wage of $18.50), with half on boats (~$50 gas x 4 boats = $200 total), each fish would cost ~$19.00 whole landed. Store or restaurant mark up of 150% means each fish would cost about $50. Perhaps viable in Bermuda but not to low income folks.

  3. Real Deal says:

    just had an idea since the numbers are this great why don’t government hire some cheep labor to do this all year round. all the meat can be sold at a reduced price to low income families.

    since it is going to low income families the regular fishermen should not have any problems because the low income families would not be able to by fish from a regular fisher man away. so its not like government would be taking away their customers. this should be a win win for everyone. even for the fishermen because this will protect the regular fish that the fisher men normally catch and sell.

    Let me know your thoughts on this idea. my gift to plp

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