It's finally here: our biggest REEF Lionfish Derby of the year, the Florida Keys Lionfish Derby & Festival, is taking place this weekend! This is our 13th annual REEF Lionfish Derby hosted in the Florida Keys. Participants will take to the to hunt lionfish from sunrise to sunset this Friday and Saturday. Eighteen teams are competing in this year's derby, and we can't wait to see how many invasive lionfish they collect! The derby weekend will conclude on Sunday with a lionfish festival at the picturesque Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina in Islamorada, Florida. The festival is open to the public from 11am-3pm, and will feature lionfish tastings, drink specials, demonstrations, games, activity booths, and live music. The awards ceremony to announce the derby winners will take place at 2:30pm. Cash prizes will be awarded to the teams who harvest the most, largest, and smallest lionfish.

For those who are not able to attend the Florida Keys Lionfish Derby & Festival in person, we will be livestreaming from the event on Sunday. Follow along on the REEF Invasive Species Program Facebook page between 11am-3pm to see a lionfish dissection, scoring, filleting and cooking demos, and the awards ceremony.

The Florida Keys Lionfish Derby & Festival is made possible thanks to the support of sponsors, including the Ocean Conservancy. Ocean Conservancy is a science-based ocean conservation organization dedicated to finding solutions to the ocean's biggest threats by engaging ocean advocates everywhere. Each year, Ocean Conservancy partners with volunteer organizations and individuals worldwide for the International Coastal Cleanup® (ICC). The ICC engages people to remove trash from the world’s beaches and waterways. This year, the International Coastal Cleanup® will take place on Saturday, September 17. Visit this page to find a cleanup near you. We are so thankful to Ocean Conservancy for their support of the 2022 REEF Florida Keys Lionfish Derby & Festival.