You’re invited to partner in the fourth annual Sarasota Lionfish Derby! This exciting and environmentally beneficial event will be hosted by Mote Marine Laboratory, a world-class marine science institution, in cooperation with Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), which helps study and address the lionfish invasion and sanctions official Lionfish Derbies.
Lionfish Derbies are an important way to harvest large numbers of this invasive species that has spread along the eastern Atlantic coast, Columbia to Escambia counties. Derbies help divers harvest lionfish, provide public education and opportunities to taste the delicious lionfish for free.
This year’s event will be based at Mote, with a captain’s meeting on July 7, lionfish hunting July 8 in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico — tournament boundaries are defined as Collier County to Escambia County — and the lionfish weigh-in July 9 at Mote Marine Laboratory. Cost to participate in the Derby is $120.00 per team (minimum 2 people per team, maximum 4 people). The public is invited to join Mote scientists and derby participants at the weigh-in for educational dissections and lionfish tastings on Sunday.