Lionfish hunt set to go again

The seventh annual Groundswell Lionfish Tournament is due to take place next Saturday, with competitors gathering at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.

Continuing under the banner “Eat ‘Em to Beat ‘Em”, the rules remain in place that lionfish of all sizes and numbers can be caught.

The lionfish is an invasive species native to the Indo-Pacific that is believed pose a threat to Bermuda’s native fish species.

The entry fee for competitors is $25 and includes a free T-shirt but all are welcome to attend the weigh-in and the after party on the Bios dock.

Competitors can begin hunting from sunrise on July 22 and the weigh-in begins at 3pm at Bios. The general public can head to Bios for the festivities which begin at 2.30pm and end at 8pm.

As has been traditional, there will be lionfish handling demonstrations after the weigh-in followed by free lionfish tasting and prize giving.

Unlike in other types of fishing tournaments, any legal method of capture is permitted and there are no size or bagging restrictions. Prize categories are: Individual; Largest Fish; Smallest Fish; Most Fish; Boat/Group; Youngest Culler. Only the fish that are caught on the day up until 3pm are eligible for the tournament and competitors are asked to ice their catch so it can be eaten at the prize giving.

All competitors must have a valid lionfish culling permit and anyone wishing to handle their fish is warned to educate themselves on the venomous fish.

There will be live music and DJs as well as a children’s area with arts, crafts, a bouncy castle and ping pong.

Admission is free and a rain date has been set for Sunday, July 23. To register, visit the deadline is July 21.