In honor of the upcoming Summer Lionfish Derby Series, we are spotlighting several Conservation Partners who go above and beyond in their support of our lionfish work. Thank you to Forever Young Charter Company, Juliet Sailing and Diving, Sea Experience, ZooKeeper, and Johnny Leuthold for sponsoring our 2019 Lionfish Derby Series as REEF Conservation Partners!

REEF Conservation Partners are active organizations and dive shops dedicated to protecting marine environments. As valued REEF ambassadors, they teach fish ID classes, host survey dives, organize volunteer events and more. With more than 80 partners across the country and beyond, there are plenty of opportunities to engage! You can see the full listing of Conservation Partners or register your business or organization as a REEF Conservation Partner here:

Forever Young logo
Forever Young Charter Company

Forever Young Charter Company is a NOAA Blue Star dive operator, committed to promoting sustainable diving, snorkeling and fishing practices in the Florida Keys. Forever Young is located in Islamorada, Florida, and supports REEF programs by participating in Lionfish Derbies and donating lionfish hunting charters for REEF events. They also educate guests about invasive lionfish and promote lionfish removals by regularly offering spearfishing charters. Captain Tony Young of Forever Young also gives lionfish presentations at schools and other community events to help raise awareness about the lionfish invasion. For more infomation, visit Forever Young Charter Company's website, or email

How does Forever Young conserve marine environments?
What is special about Forever Young is that we take guests diving from all over the world, in a private boat (6 divers or less) setting. Our full day charter is eight hours long (four dives) and we have a lot of time to talk with our guests and share our passion for marine conservation with them. We don't just hunt lionfish with our guests, we really dive into the details and educate our guests on why they are having such an impact in the Caribbean waters. We are the only charter company to hold both the NOAA Blue Star Dive rating and the NOAA Blue Star Fishing Guide rating, this recognition is given to charter operators who dedicate their businesses to coral reef conservation and preservation. Our goal is share our passion for the Florida Keys with our guests and connect them to the beautiful places we visit on each charter. From scuba diving on the reef to watching a sunset in the bay, the Florida Keys are a very special place with beauty that will take your breath away. Connecting guests from around the world with this beauty will help them understand why we must all work hard to protect it!

Why is marine conservation important to you?
The ocean is the lifeline for our planet; everything on earth depends on a healthy ocean for its survival. The ocean is a busy place, every animal has its role and you can't help but wonder how they all work so perfectly together. The beauty is breathtaking and my goal in life is to do everything I can to support these ecosystems so my children and their children can see it as we have. With some hard work, I believe our children can see a healthier ocean than we have now. I want them to see the Jawfish hovering in the sand, the Mahi-Mahi schooling in numbers offshore, the birds diving on bait, dolphins playing together in the bay, corals thriving with color, and all the fish with their own personalities. We are all connected to marine environments and we must do everything we can to conserve them!

Juliet Sailing and Diving logo
Juliet Sailing and Diving

As a liveaboard dive boat operating primarily in The Bahamas, Juliet Sailing and Diving staff educate guests about the lionfish invasion with weekly presentations about the history and impact of lionfish in the Bahamas ecosystem. They also teach guests about safe lionfish collecting and handling procedures as well as how to clean and prepare them for tasty dishes like ceviche and fish tacos. They also offer lionfish hunting trips, specifically focused on removing lionfish from reefs that have been particularly impacted by the invasion. For more information, visit Juliet Sailing and Diving's website, check them out on Facebook, or email

How does Juliet Sailing and Diving conserve marine environments?
We try to adhere to the Monterey Bay's Seafood Watch program guidelines when preparing our weekly menus, as well as offering the guests educational opportunities on board, like conducting REEF surveys, fish and critter ID sessions, and shark talks. We encourage guests to use reef-safe sunscreens and stock biodegradable soaps to try to keep the corals healthy. We also engage our guests when they're not on board via social media with ways they can reduce plastic use, organize cleanups, and generally live more sustainably when they're at home.

Why is marine conservation important to you?
On Juliet we are lucky enough to see the ocean on a daily basis and deeply understand how connected we are to it. The creatures we see every week become our family, and the ocean is their home, and we get to make a living showing people this incredible underwater world. We are also unlucky enough to see the changes that are happening firsthand. All humans rely on the ocean for oxygen, food, climate, and so much more, but the creatures that live there need the oceans to stay healthy so much more immediately than we do. It is our job - as divers, fish nerds, sailors, anglers, and all other ocean enthusiasts - to be good ambassadors and spread the word so everyone is interested in making more positive impacts on our oceans and less detrimental ones.

Sea Experience Logo
Sea Experience

Sea Experience is located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. They are a sponsor of the 2019 Fort Lauderdale Lionfish Derby, and have also partnered with REEF to host a Lionfish Collecting and Handling Workshop on June 28. Sea Experience also offers REEF fish survey dives, participates in the Great Annual Fish Count, and hosts dives to monitor coral bleaching and collect marine debris. For more information or to sign up for their newsletter, email You can also check out Sea Experience's website or Facebook page.

How does Sea Experience conserve marine environments?
We host underwater cleanups throughout the year, recruit divers to conduct REEF surveys on their dives, host BleachWatch classes and dives which assess the health of the corals in our area, and recently started Eco Pro IDC which trains dive professionals on various aspects of marine conservation. During our PADI Women's Dive Day event this year, divers will have an opportunity to choose to participate in either an underwater cleanup or a REEF fish survey. We also participate in the Great Annual Fish Count and the SEAFAN Community Cleanup event each summer. We have stopped using plastic bottles on our boats and encourage people to either purchase one of our reusable water bottles or bring one of their own to fill up using our water cooler on board.

Why is marine conservation important to you?
Conserving the marine environment is everything to us! We are ocean lovers and as such, we protect what we love. We produce so much waste as humans and so much of that ends up in the ocean. As divers, we want to preserve the beauty of our reefs, not just because we want to continue diving there for a long time, but because so many ocean critters' lives depend upon it. There is an interdependence between humans and ocean life that many do not realize exists. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves and others on what that means for all of us and how, with one simple step at a time, we can begin to make a difference.

ZooKeeper - ZK, LLC

ZooKeeper creates Lionfish Containment Units (LCUs) that promote diver safety and efficiency. The LCU enables divers to collect large quantities of lionfish safely by serving as a secure collection device, lowering the risk of being stung by sharp lionfish spines. Based in Sarasota, Florida, ZooKeeper is a longtime supporter of REEF's lionfish work, particularly our annual Lionfish Derby Series. Allie El Hage of ZooKeeper also participates in REEF Lionfish Derbies and assists with our lionfish education and outreach. For more information, visit ZooKeeper's website.