Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lionfish Smash

Chica, Wawy, Manuel, Bou, Felix - celebrating a successful smash

This last weekend I was in Bimini, Bahamas, with a group of friends to attend the South Florida Freedivers "Lionfish Smash" competition.  The event focused on the spearing of lionfish as they are become a real problem in the reefs of the Bahamas and the Caribbean. In these parts of the world, the species have no natural predators, hence they are starting to dominate the reefs by multiplying in an uncontrolled manner, and, therefore, threatening to disrupt the delicate ecological balance in vast areas. The fishing industry is concerned.

On the trip we saw lionfish up to 16 inches, and literally in every ledge that you would look under.  After a day of spearing, we caught over 35 lionfish; in total over 100 were speared.  And the fish did not go to waste, cook Ralph Pagano made some delicious ceviche and fillets from the white meat - it actually tasted very well.

All the proceeds of the competition went to the Boys and Girls Club of Miami, over $8,500 were raised.

Our team consisted of Manuel, Chica, Bou, Wawy, and me - Manuel won the "Lionfish Slayer", largest and smallest lionfish categories - he caught over 22 fish himself while the rest of us were slacking.

Was a lot of fun to be back in Bimini - the island has definitely changed (not for the better) - but it was good hanging out with friends.  A video will be coming out shortly...

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