Take a bite out of lionfish at the 14th annual REEF Florida Keys Lionfish Derby & Festival, coming up on Sept. 7-10. The event features two full days of lionfish hunting, plus a family-friendly lionfish festival.
Teams of two to four people may register to compete in the derby. Registration is $100 per team and is open until Sept 7. Teams may register in either the Apex Predators division (competitive, higher prize money) or Reef Defenders (casual, lower prize money.) Registration is available online at www.REEF.org/derby. A Captain's Meeting to discuss safe collecting and handling procedures and derby rules will be held on Sept. 7 from 6:30-7:30pm. Participants may choose to attend the meeting in person at the REEF Campus, or join virtually. More details will be emailed to registered teams. Derby participants may hunt lionfish from sunrise to sunset on Friday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 9.
The derby weekend will conclude on Sunday, Sept. 10 with a lionfish festival at the picturesque Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina in Islamorada, Florida from noon-4pm. The festival is free and open to the public, and includes lionfish tastings, drink specials, demonstrations, games, and interactive booths from environmentally-minded vendors. Derby winners will be announced during an awards ceremony and cash prizes will be awarded to the teams who collect the most, largest, and smallest lionfish.
Want to learn more about lionfish or brush up on your collecting skills before the derby? We have a Lionfish Collecting & Handling Workshop scheduled in Islamorada on Sept. 5-7! Click here for more information about the workshop. You can also stay up to date on derby info and connect with other teams by joining the REEF Invasive Lionfish Facebook Group.