Photos/Videos: Lionfish Tournament A Success

July 21, 2012

The Annual Groundswell Lionfish Tournament was held today [July 21] at BIOS with members of the public being invited to help eradicate this invasive pest by joining in by Eating ‘Em to Beat ‘Em.

The tournament started at sunrise and the weigh in and prize giving kicked off at 3.00pm at BIOS in Ferry Reach. When Bernews visited, a total of 31 lionfish had been caught and were in the process of being prepared to be eaten.

Groundswell Founder Matthew Strong and Co-Founder Selange Gitschner:

Chef Chris Malpas was on hand and prepared lionfishcakes for all to try. There was also a BBQ going with hotdogs and hamburgers available. Cocktails and entertainment were also available with music provided by DJ Colt 45.

Information kiosks from the Bermuda Ocean Support Foundation and Bermuda Blue Halo Project were set up to share information with those attending.

Chef Chris Malpas shares preparation and cooking ideas:

A spokesperson said, “We have developed this tournament to help encourage fisherman, divers and concerned citizens to help eradicate this invasive fish before if destroys peoples livelihood and threatens the islands protective reef.

“We aim to promote fishing them as it is the only known way of gaining some ground on the fish. We are also trying to get local establishments to put them on the menu, to create a demand for the fish. Please help eradicate them by Eating ‘Em to Beat ‘Em.”

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Category: All, Environment, Environment, Marine, News, Photos

Comments (22)

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  1. Shaking My Head.. says:

    Where are make Fish Cakes ChrIs?? LOL

  2. Liars! says:

    nice to see the REAL Bermudians showed up to this event

    • Victor says:

      I think REEL in this instance. By the way, is there such a thing as an UNREAL Bermudian?

    • mixitup says:

      Why don’t you explain what you mean by REAL Bermudians? Just Curious.

  3. Old Furberts kettle says:

    Only the white variety.

    • mangrove tree says:

      How you can drag race in to I dont know.
      It was a free event in a free country,anybody could go…

      If you have a problem with the demographics get off your lazy, myopic ,racist a$$ , yes i said get off YOUR LAZY, MYOPIC ,RACIST A$$, next time and go and contribute some thing positve instead of sitting behind a keyboard whining cuz theres too many people who don t look like you.

      So any way it was an excellant event, Chef Malpas did and excellant job on the fish , the music was good ,the booze flowing , the breeze cool well done Groundswell…

      • J Starling says:

        While I can understand the defensive reaction to the comments about the racial make-up of the crowd in the photos, I don’t think it benefits environmentalist issues to circle the wagons here because someone made those observations.

        Environmentalism here is largely a ‘White’ phenomena, although it doesn’t need to be so, and there are plenty Blacks involved in environmental issues, or who share environmental sentiments, although they may not consider them or themselves environmentalists.

        There are historical class reasons for this, and especially for an event involving people with the ability for recreational fishing at this scale. How many people have access to boats for a weekend like this, for example?

        I commend the people involved though – the lionfish are a serious threat. It would be good though for people to consider the observations made and think about why there are these racial disparities and in what ways these can be resolved in the future.

        • Triangle Drifter says:

          JS I guess you have never been out on the water for the end to end comet race to see just who has the money into big fancy boats.

          In any case it is discouraging to see how few black Bermudians get involved in enviromental issues. Demographicaly they should be a huge majority but sadly they are a minority when it comes to preserving the enviroment for future generations of ALL Bermudians.

          What these folks did took effort not just showing up for an event.

          • J Starling says:

            Fair enough – I was just venturing one explanation for why there is a discrepancy, racially, in these photos. Why do you think there may be such a discrepancy (provided we take these photos as representative of the event).

            This goes to a much wider question though, which you touch on, the racial discrepancies evident in environmental issues. And how does one seek to change that?

            I think for many some of the issues championed by ‘environmentalists’ are quite abstract and irrelevant – at least in the short-term – for many. A focus on more social justice issues, the provision of recreational parks and the like, or something along those lines, could be a way for involving more people in environmental issues. But I think even the term ‘environmentalism’ is seen as a ‘White’ thing, and it shouldn’t be seen (any attempt to address the issue) as a patronising intervention. Rather, the environmentalists should go to the people and see what they think is needed for their neighbourhoods.

            As to this event itself, I am very much a supporter of it, and quite aware of the threat represented by the lionfish. I hope that this is but the next step in combatting that ongoing threat – and I look forward to next years’ event being bigger and better!

  4. jredmond says:

    guys bring race into everything. wow.

  5. Another view says:

    Eat lionfish? Sure, but beware of the nasty toxins

    Lionfish may be lovely to look at, but the invasive, voracious fish are regarded as the scourge of the seas.

    By JoNel Aleccia, NBC News

    • mangrove tree says:

      The toxin cigatura refered to in the article is not generally found much in Bermuda,it is much more of a concern down South.

      Eating small lion fish here you will have no more or less chance of getting cigatura poisoning than with any other common reef fish, such as Coney ,Barber, Hind, and so on
      If you are going to get sick from fish here it is most likely as a result of histamine poising with pelagic fish such as tuna , and wahoo.

  6. Baileys bay says:

    Mr Starling, there are lots and lots of black as well as white and everything in between Bermudians who own boats, I see them out enjoying themselves every weekend (and many week days)…as far as I can see there are as many black as white Bermudians with and on boats, all recreationally fishing or whatever.
    But you’re correct, environmentalism in Bermuda is largely a “white” phenomena and you’re further correct that it doesn’t need to be so. Any suggestions how to get ALL Bermudians more involved?

    • J Starling says:

      Morning Bailey’s Bay – The issue is, of course, more complex than the hesitant and simplistic suggestion I put forward. In my own experience though, I’ve found water recreation (pleasure crafts, scuba diving, etc.) to be much more a White phenomenon than more evenly mixed (although the situation flips when it comes to eking a living off the sea, or ‘fishing off the rocks’).

      I responded above with some tentative approaches to how to get a more demographically representative environmentalist movement, but in general I would say that it may behoove the various environmentalist groups to look at the situations in our neighbourhoods and see what can be done there. Be it greening (including community gardens or playgrounds) derelict spaces, or focusing on the redevelopment of Pembroke Dump, or other such issues.

      But it shouldn’t be done as an ‘invasion’, but as a partnership, a conversation and cooperation in those neighbourhoods. Far too often environmentalism is seen as being unrelated to the lived reality of many, and this need not be so. Go to the people, see what their lived reality is, speak with them, and work with them to make that lived reality better, through working with them.

      Issues of overcrowding (this itself a hangover from our segregated past, with our zoning plans having been created then, legitimising the residential patterns of segregation and ‘freezing’ them in place since), or lack of neighbourhood amenities, transport issues, siting of polluting services (Pembroke Dump, Tynes Bay, even the National Sports Stadium, can be seen in this light), all of these can be seen in environmental and social justice terms.

  7. Lmao!!!! says:

    What’s a real Bermudian? That’s just a messed up thing to say SMH!!!!!!

  8. Chris Malpas says:

    Thank you to those that came out to support the cause , the efforts of groundswell, Ocean Support Foundation and BIOS that search for volunteers and organizations to donate to the cause is a huge task. This effort is focused on a Bermuda problem that will effect all of those that choose to call this island home, I became involved to be a part of the solution and not another piece of the problem puzzle. This will not directly effect us tomorrow or even in the next few years but will have a devastating result on this piece of Paridise In the many years to come. It will have effect through the entire chain from tourism to the every day local trying to catch something off the rocks for their family dinner.

    As far as the toxin topic is concerned it is a matter of knowing where your food source is coming from, no different to the poultry market or swine market is concerned. If the source is not up to standard then the product will reflect the quality of the source. Years ago ciguatera was an issue with baracuda and therefore it was not an option to eat them fom a certain weight locally. This has since been cleared and now you see more of the meat being taken for human consumption.

    Please continue to ask your local fisherman about supplying the nice white filet especially the lobster fisherman who will have by catch and another source of revenue to support their livelihood.

    Thanks again to all those involved from the science folks doing their part, divers, support staff along with the music and Andrew that manned the goslings bar in the blazing heat unil the end.

    Great effort!!

  9. Bullseye says:

    Most blacks I talk to when asked about spearfishing say “He$$ no! You go sticking your head in holes 20 feet down you crazy white boy!”

    There is your answer.

    Nice job on the tourney! It’s getting better!

    • research helps says:

      Only the spines are toxic… not the meat.

    • setting the record straight says:

      the FDA retracted their comments. the study used 200 lionfish captured in one area where ciguatoxin is common. 25% of those fish contained unhealthy levels of the toxin. the dinoflagellates that produce the ciguatoxin are not found in Bermuda. therefore, there is no threat of ciguatera poisoning in Bermuda’s lionfish. in fact, you have a better chance of getting sick eating tuna or other migratory fish that have come here after feeding in areas where ciguatoxin is common.

  10. moray eel,snappr and scorpion fish eat lionfish.

  11. if the spines have venom,then it stands to reason that the bones do too,when I used to fish I guaranteed a free bag of fish to anyone came back with a bone….I’m a pretty good fillet guy but dey still came back.incidently blog scorpion fish eats lion fish on u tube.