Sarasota Lionfish Derby at Mote

The second annual Sarasota Lionfish Derby is an exciting and environmentally beneficial event where SCUBA divers and snorkelers will compete to collect as many lionfish as possible in an effort to control the spread of this invasive species.

Teams will capture lionfish July 10 through July 12, and the public is invited to learn about lionfish, discover how these delicious fish taste and hear Derby results at Sunday’s lionfish weigh-in, scoring and awards event.  The Derby will take place from July 10 – 12, with the captains’ meeting on July 10 and lionfish hunting by registered participants July 10 and 11 in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. Tournament boundaries are from Collier to Escambia County. Teams will net or spear lionfish while SCUBA diving or snorkeling and bring back their catch for the public lionfish weigh-in on July 12.

The weigh-in and scoring starts 10 a.m. Sunday, July 12, at the Sarasota Outboard Club at 1604 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236 (next to Mote). From 11 a.m. to about 1 p.m. that day, local chefs will prepare varied lionfish dishes with the fish caught during the Derby and fish provided by ZooKeeper. Everyone can sample the lionfish for free, including Derby volunteers, organizers, participants and the public.

The awards ceremony will start at about 1 p.m. July 12. Cash prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place winners who catch the most lionfish, the largest lionfish and the smallest lionfish.


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