Nearly 500 Lionfish Caught in Grand Prix Event

January 3, 2021 | 3 Comments

Guardians of the Reef recently hosted the Bermuda Lionfish Grand Prix, a first in a new series of lionfish culling tournaments to the island where all registration, logging and participation is done online through an innovative angler portal and smartphone app.

November 2020 Bermuda Lionfish Grand Prix (1)

Fifteen teams took part in November, with 29 anglers, including both freedivers and divers on SCUBA for this 30-day event. There was no weigh in and wrap party unfortunately, which was a miss compared to events held in the past. In total 472 lionfish were caught.

“While this was not my first time hosting a lionfish culling event, I was nervous and excited to bring forward something new, innovative and timely considering current circumstances with respect to social distancing and safety,” said Weldon Wade, Guardians of the Reef founder and co-founder of the Lionfish Grand Prix event series.

November 2020 Bermuda Lionfish Grand Prix (2)

The cornerstone of this new Lionfish Grand Prix series is the iAngler Tournament platform and smartphone app. Once registered, you are easily able to log in and take a photo of your catch. The app captures EXIF and GPS data and you log the quantity, leave comments and submit the catch for Event Directors to approve. Approved logs and the leaderboard are viewable anytime.

November 2020 Bermuda Lionfish Grand Prix (3)

Events held this time of year brings out Bermuda’s best and most passionate lionfish cullers,” Mr Wade explained.

“This event would not have been made possible without every angler that participated, especially those who helped iron out kinks in the platform early on and of course supporting partners and sponsors. We were fortunate to be able to offer free registration to all participants and anglers were allowed to keep their catch.”

November 2020 Bermuda Lionfish Grand Prix (4)

“Special mention and thanks to Dive Bermuda, Blue Water Divers, Ubervida, AMML Ltd., Conyers Imports, Blue Shark Media Group, Satronics Enterprises Ltd., Honda Marine, Bermuda Watersports, Pathwater and BGA.”

Hot on the heels of the November 2020 Bermuda Lionfish Grand Prix, Weldon Wade partnered with Lee-Ann Rando of Lady G’Diver in Port Antonio, Jamaica to host the first December 2020 Jamaica Lionfish Grand Prix which wrapped up December 31st which saw 11 teams take to the reef and remove 199 lionfish.

November 2020 Bermuda Lionfish Grand Prix (5)

Future events in Bermuda and other countries in the invaded range are in the works right now with checks in place to ensure results and wrap-up occurs within a week of close.

November 2020 Bermuda Lionfish Grand Prix (6)

November 2020 Bermuda Lionfish Grand Prix

Most Lionfish – Team

  • 1srt Grim Reefers [291] Chris Cabral, Mark Outerbridge, James Adderley
  • 2nd Sexy Reef Ambassadors [88] Natalie Price, Tim Price, Lee Conway, Kyle Smith
  • 3rd Un-Stung [35] Robyn Vincent, Brendon Le Febour, Alex Quinn-Sirera, Arran Mcleod

Most Lionfish – Individual

  • 1st – Chris Cabral [147]
  • 2nd – James Adderley [73]
  • 3rd – Mark Outerbridge [71]

Largest Lionfish

  • Kyle Smith

Smallest Lionfish

  • Mark Outerbridge

Best Team Photo

  • Sexy Reef Ambassadors

Best Individual Photo

  • Stuart Joblin

For more information on this and future events visit www.lionfishgrandprix.com or @lionfishgrandprix across social.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Thank you says:

    Thank you for getting g rid of that predator. Are their numbers increasing? Do you see damage to the reefs? Do you see fewer fish as a result of them being in our waters?

    • Thank you for your questions. From MY perspective and all things considered, due to their reproductive numbers, the fact that they have no natural predators, divers can only go so deep so often, and we don’t have much eyes and action taking place deeper than divers can go, their numbers are increasing. These lionfish culling events are important to help keep their numbers in check, raise awareness, build community and incentivize cullers. I do not see damage to the reef itself specifically as a result of the increase of lionfish in our waters but just because you cannot see it right now doesn’t mean there isn’t an effect. Lionfish are are eating small fish and invertebrates that are important to the reef and ecosystem so damage is being done by way of whatever they are consuming or displacing. Their most popular prey item around here right now are shrimp. We don’t know what role these shrimp play in the grand scheme of things. With regard to fewer fish, my guess is probably not. In my opinion there weren’t many fish around even before lionfish invaded our shores. Lionfish are an added threat and stressor to an already delicate ecosystem. Fortunately, they are edible and taste great.

  2. leo trott says:

    OMG the first pic….is that just off my childhood swimming hole at Admiralty Park? That’s too close for me to get in the water for a swim!

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