REEF is offering a series of free Lionfish Collection and Handling Workshops throughout south Florida and the Keys. Each workshop will include a classroom session covering the background of the invasion, lionfish biology, ecological impacts, current research, collecting and handling techniques, and other ways you can get involved. Attendees can obtain a permit to collect lionfish within the Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPAs) in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary using hand nets only. Once wrapping up on land, we will head out on the water and put our skills to work on a dive charter. You need to attend the classroom portion of the workshop to be able to come on the dive.
Please note: This free event will include a classroom lecture, dissection and fillet demonstration. The dive will be scheduled at a later date.
Classroom Lecture and Demonstration: 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Florida Sea Base. Free and open to the public.
Dive: Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for a free lionfish collection dive to be offered this summer. Dive information will be announced at a later date.
Important Registration Information
To register for this workshop, please complete all of the forms linked above.
The workshop and dives are free, but pre-registration is required. Space is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. REEF will provide lionfish collecting gear, but you will need to bring your own SCUBA gear or organize a rental through the dive shop. Please contact the dive shop directly prior to the workshop if you need rental gear.
Due to advanced nature of the lionfish collection dives, an Advanced Open Water (or equivalent) dive certification and 30 dives minimum are required for dive participants. Dives are subject to weather and other conditions.
We ask registrants for the dive to place a $20 deposit to be refunded after the dive. After we have received your registration and confirmed your space on the boat, you will receive an email about the deposit from a REEF team member.
Financial support for these workshops was provided by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Foundation (NOAA), through the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida (FWFF). Dive charters and spears are sponsored by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Additional support was generously provided from Whole Foods Market.