REEF's research and education efforts on the invasion of the Indo-Pacific lionfish have been featured in numerous news stories, publications and documentaries.

Sponsor REEF's Invasive Species Program

Recent national news documentaries created from REEF's Lionfish Derby Series

 CBS News Lionfish 

BBC Earth Lionfish  

VICE News Tonight Lionfish


  •, "The Race to Kill Lionfish, the Invasive Fish Threatening Our Food Supply, Spearfishing is saving the ecosystem, one lionfish at a time" September 29, 2023
  • SouthDade NewsLeader, "Loads of Lionfish at REEF September Derby, September 22, 2023
  • Keys Weekly, "Hunters Catch a Record 1,898 Lionfish During Keys Derby; A record 1,898 invasive lionfish removed thanks to derby" September 22, 2023
  • Field and Stream, "Spearfishermen Smash Tournament Record, Remove Over 600 Lionfish in 2 Days",  September 13, 2023
  • The Boca Raton Observer, "That’s a Catch! Annual Florida Keys lionfish derby and festival educates and promotes ocean conservation, September 8, 2023
  •, "Where To Plan Your Next Scuba Vacation, A look at the current dive scene in Roatan, the Florida Keys and Vanuatu." March 26, 2023


  • Field and Stream, "Spearfishing Team Breaks Derby Record By Removing 426 Invasive Lionfish in One Day", April 26, 2022
  • Scuba Diving, "Florida Keys Lionfish Derby Winners Bring in Record-Breaking 426 Invasive Fish", May 6, 2022
  • Keys Weekly, "More than 400 Lionfish Removed From Keys Waters" pdf, May 11, 2022


  • Orlando Sentinel, "Lionfish Derby in Key Largo" June 2021
  • Scuba Diving Magazine, "No Room for Invasive Species in the Florida Keys" May 3, 2021. 
  • Keys Weekly, Earth Day 2021, Ways you can get involved in the Florida Keys" April 21, 2021. 
  • Scuba Diving Magazine, "Top Eight Citizen-Science Dives in the Florida Keys, Revive the Reef through Citizen-Science and Volunteer Diving." February 16, 2021. PDF


  • The New York Times, "When Invasive Species Becomes the Meal." October 4, 2020
  • Associated Press, "Testing traps to control lovely but destructive lionfish." August 26, 2020
  • NPR, "Researchers Develop a trap to control population of invasive lionfish." August 27, 2020 Pdf
  • New York Post, "Scientists test traps to control lovely -but destructive- lionfish." August 27, 2020 Pdf
  •, "Waterlust Apparel introduces New Design in Partnership with REEF". December 2020 Pdf
  • South Dade NewsLeader, "Gotcha, Success at the REEF Lionfish Derby." October 2, 2020
  • Miami Herald, "Lionfish hunters net record haul during derby, and rough weather didn't get in the way." September 16, 2020
  • Scuba Diving, "2020 Upper Keys Lionfish Derby sets new records despite tropical storm interference." September 15, 2020
  • South Dade NewsLeader, "On the hunt again for lionfish." September 4, 2020
  • Keys Weekly, "REEF's annual lionfish derby goes socially-distant to defend the reefs." September 2, 2020
  •, "Dates Announced for REEF's Upper Keys Lionfish Derby." August 25, 2020 Pdf
  • Dive Training Magazine, "Divers can help keys ocean ecosystem and "Take a bite out of lionfish' during REEF's Upper Keys Derby." August 21, 2020 Pdf
  • Scuba Diving, "Scuba divers can help Key's ocean ecosystems during REEF's Upper Keys Lionfish Derby." August 20, 2020 Pdf


  • Civil Eats, "Florida's Answer to Invasive Lionfish, If You Can't Beat 'Em, Eat 'Em." January 2, 2019. Pdf
  • Christian Science Monitor, "If you can't beat them, eat them: dangerous invasive species on the menu." April 9, 2019. 
  • ABC7WWSB, "Lionfish used in unique dishes as it becomes a problem in Florida waters." July 17, 2019. Pdf
  •, "Despite the fishing derby canceled, lionfish were still removed from the Gulf as a result of the weekend's lionfish tasting." July 15, 2019. Pdf
  • Key Largo Legend, "REEF Hosts Most Successful Winter Lionfish Derby to Date." May 2019
  • Keys Weekly, "A Nice Bite: Record Lionfish Caught During Derby." September 19, 2019


  • Sun Sentinel, “509 lionfish down a few million to go.” Jul 18, 2018
  • News4Jax, “Taste fresh caught lionfish and help save the ocean” July 20, 2018
  • The Beaches Leader. “Lionfish derby removes 285 fish” July 28, 2018
  •, “Forever Young takes first place in REEF’s 6th Winter Lionfish Derby. March 1, 2018
  • DiveNewsWire, "300+ Lionfish removed during REEF’s Miami Derby, June 19, 2018.
  • SRQ, "Sarasota Lionfish Derby reports delicious success”, July 9, 2018.
  • Herald Tribune, "Annual derby yields fewer lionfish, and that’s a good thing.” July 8, 2018
  •, “Lionfish derby takes a stab at invasive species population.” July 8, 2018
  • Deeper Blue, "REEF partners with Whole Foods Lionfish derby Series.”, February, 1, 2018
  • DiveNewsWire, Dates released for REEF’s 2018 Lionfish Derby Series Presented by Whole Foods Market” February 5, 2018.
  • Scuba Diving, “REEF Offers $40,000 in Prizes at 2018 Lionfish Derbies throughout Florida” February 12, 2018
  • Sun Sentinel, “Lionfish-killing contests helps to control them, study claims” January 10, 2018.
  • California Diver, "Dates released for REEF’s 2018 Lionfish Derby Series – Presented by Whole Foods Market.” February 13, 2018
  • The Coastal Star, "One the Water: Lionfish derbies begin this month." February 28, 2018
  • Fort Lauderdale Magazine, "REEF’s 2018 Fort Lauderdale Lionfish Derby Results, Best of 2018." October 1, 2018
  • Deeper Blue, "Results of REEF’s 2018 Lionfish derby announced.”, December 6, 2018.
  • National Geographic, "Fighting Back Lionfish for Invasive Species Awareness Week", 2/24/2015
  • Yahoo News, "Scuba divers lead charge against invasive lionfish", 2/17/2015
  • CBS News, "Divers take lionfish invasion into their own hands", 2/17/2015
  • Fish and Wildlife Commission, “FWC raises awareness on lionfish issue with creation of 'Removal' day”, 2/5/15 
  • CBC, "Lionfish: The Ocean Invaders:, 1/19/2015


  •, "Analysis reveals most vulnerable prey as invasion continues", 11/24/2015
  • NPR, "Why Divers In Bonaire Are So Eager To Kill The Beautiful Lionfish", 11/10/2014
  • The New York Times, "In Curacao, Helping Hands for Reefs", 10/23/14
  • The New York Times, “A call to action against a predator fish with an import ban, an app and even rodeos”, 9/25/14
  • Nature, "Invasive-species control: Bounty hunters", 9/12/2015
  • Yahoo News, "Lionfish's Teminator-Style Killing Alarms Scientists", 8/15/2014
  • National Geographic, "Lionfish Have a 'Let's Hunt Together' Signal", 6/24/2014
  • Florida Today, "Florida lionfish ban takes effect Aug. 1", 6/18/2014
  • NBC, "Florida Turns to Smartphone App in Battle Against Invasive Lionfish", 5/30/2014
  • Science Daily, "War on lionfish shows first promise of success", 1/22/2014


  • Nature World News, "Lionfish Wiping Away Native Marine Life of Atlantic Ocean" 10/22/2013
  • Sun Sentinel, "Lionfish might become latest delicacy on your dinner plate", 10/21/2013
  • Yahoo News, "Lionfish beyond reach of divers worry researchers", 7/16/2013
  • NPR, "Lionfish Attacking Atlantic Ocean Like a Living Oil Spill", 4/17/2013
  • USA Today, "Lionfish: You have to eat them to beat them", 2/16/2013



  • Scuba Diving Examiner, "Scuba divers eliminate 1,500 dangerous lionfish in Florida Keys in 2011 events", 11/9/11
  • Florida Keys News, "Divers in Keys lionfish derbies harvest 1,518 spiny reef invaders", 11/9/11
  • Fox News, "Chefs cooking up new ways to prepare venomous lionfish", 10/30/11
  • NPR, "Lionfish threaten coral reefs near Fla.", 8/29/11
  • Diverwire, "Diving volunteers nab 675 lionfish during Key Largo event", 8/22/11
  • Palm Beach Post, "Palm Beach divers haul [hundreds] of lionfish from ocean, trying to slow invasive fish's spread", 8/14/2011
  • Boat U.S. Magazine,  "Eating the aliens", July 2011
  • CBS Miami, "Lionfish invasion reaches Loxahatchee River", 6/23/11
  •, "Keys lionfish hunter ranks grow", 6/18/11
  • Food & Wine, "Lionfish invasion: A guide to hunting and fishing", June 2011
  • WPBT PBS, "Changing seas, alien invaders", A 27-minute PBS special on the lionfish invasion featuring Lad Akins 6/7/11
  • The Splendid Table, Public Radio interview with Lad Akins, 5/20/11
  • Diverwire, "First Florida Keys Lionfish Derby of 2011 nets 530 invasive lionfish", 5/16/11
  • Sun Sentinel, "Lionfish roundup in the Keys", 5/16/11 
  • USGS, "Extent and spread of lionfish spread unprecedented; invasive marine fish may stress reefs", 3/14/11
  • FL Keys Keynoter, "Lionfish Derby nets 531 fish - bigger fish", 5/18/11
  • Miami Herald, "If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em", 3/24/11
  • Environment News Service, "Invasive lionfish now found from Bahamas to New England", 3/15/11
  • Thalassa, (in French) "Etats-Unis: Safari sous la mer", 2/18/11
  • The Telegraph, "Scientists' answer to problem of invading lionfish: eat them", 2/5/11
  • HD Net, "Dan Rather reports: one feisty fish", 1/24/11


  • ABC News, "'Eat 'em' stratagem for lionfish invasion in Florida", 12/29/10
  • Wall Street Journal, "The lionfish creates an uproar, bringing out the hunters" 11/15/10
  • Guy Harvey Magazine, "Solution to lionfish invasion - eat 'em!"
  • Dive Training Magazine, "Killers on the loose: lionfish continue wreaking havoc on Caribbean Reefs", November 2010
  • Miami Herald,"John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park celebrates 50 years", 11/28/10
  • New York Times, "Florida Keys declare open season on the invasive lionfish", 11/22/10
  • CBS 4, "Divers catch more than 100 lionfish off Lower Keys", 11/14/10
  • Key Largo Free Press, "Lionfish hunt offers taste of tiny invader", 9/15/10
  • The Palm Beach Post, "Predatory lionfish found in Loxahatchee River", 9/27/10
  • ESPN, "Limiting Lionfish; Divers capture 534 of invasive species in first derby to lower numbers in Keys", 9/16/10
  • Keys Net, "More than 500 lionfish rounded up in derby", 9/15/10
  • NBC Miami, "Bad boy fish gets fried; invasive lionfish derby starts in the Keys", 9/10/10
  • Wall Street Journal Online, "U.S. coast battles the lionfish", 8/15/10
  • Miami Herald, "Lionfish a greater threat as lobster miniseason starts", 7/27/10
  • Washington Post, "How to conquer the invasive lionfish? Saute it”, 7/7/2010
  • Florida Keys Keynoter, "Lionfish numbers exploding", 6/23/10
  • Scuba Diving Magazine, "Should we cull "invading" lionfish", 5/10/10
  • The Florida Keys Keynoter, "Invasive lionfish moving in closer to Keys Shore", 4/10/10
  • The Palm Beach Post, "Lionfish invade Florida Keys", 2/08/10


  • PULSE PBS News, "Invasive lionfish threatening the Caribbean?", 9/20/09
  • CBS News, "To catch a lionfish", 8/25/09
  • V-I Source, "Influx of lionfish a threat to native marine life, experts say", 8/23/09
  •, "Biggest lionfish found in the Keys", 7/11/09
  • Alert Diver, "Lionfish make new home: invasive fish are settling in for the long haul", 7/1/09
  • The Abaconian, "Lionfish Derby was huge success, caught 1,408", 6/13/09
  • Smithsonian Magazine, "Invasion of the lionfish", 5/8/09
  • Cayman Islands Daybreak - Morning TV Show, REEF and the Cayman Islands Dept. of Environment discuss the threat of the lionfish to Cayman reefs. The segment was filmed during a week of outreach and training workshops led by Lad Akins. 3/24/09
  • BVI Beacon, "Experts see lionfish in VI's future", 3/5/09 


  • Channel 4 News Turks and Caicos, "The D.E.C.R. holds conference on controlling lionfish migration", News coverage of Lad Akins' recent trip to the Turks and Caicos. Lad led a series of education and training seminars covering ways to control the lionfish invasion in the TCI. 1/30/08
  • Miami Herald, "Lionfish become more prevalent in South Florida", 1/30/08
  • Miami Herald, "Newcomer to Keys is unwelcome, uncouth", 1/18/08
  • KeysNews, "First lionfish found in the Keys", 2009. These are two of dozens of articles published about the recent find by a REEF surveyor of the first documented lionfish in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Click here to read the REEF E-News article on the removal effort.
  • Bonaire Insider, "The Pacific Lionfish continues spreading southward in the Caribbean region", 12/24/08
  • Turks & Caicos Weekly News, "Lionfish: born in the wrong sea", 12/13/08
  • MenuPages Blog, "South Florida: eat lionfish, save the reefs", 10/20/08
  • The Times (London), "Lionfish devastate Florida's native shoals", 10/20/08
  • Palm Beach Post, "Scientists worried about more lionfish in the Atlantic", 9/23/08 
  • Time Magazine for Kids, "An alien invasion", part of a series on coral reefs for grades 4-6. 9/5/08
  • Nature Conservancy Magazine, A discussion about the lionfish problem in the Bahamas and the role REEF is playing with other Nature Conservancy partners in spreading awareness and conducting research, Fall 2008
  • Associated Press (AP) contacted REEF in June 2008 regarding the lionfish invasion in the Caribbean. Lad Akins, REEF’s lionfish expert and project leader put together a list of resources, experts, wrote a script, and secured all the footage needed to produce these stories. This material was used across the internet, newspapers and brought REEF to the attention of many as the pivotal source for information and contacts - On August 4, the AP story was first featured on YouTube.

- On August 13, the AP piece appeared in newspapers across the country and on MSNBC.

- On August 22, National Geographic used the extended AP story on their Daily News website.

Special thanks to Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas and Sally Burrows, camera woman extraordinaire, for providing the support necessary to help REEF make this extensive AP coverage possible.

  • Scuba Diving Magazine Video News (August, 2008) - Anna DeLoach produced a 5-minute video that summarized the work REEF is doing on coordinating the lionfish invasion. This video takes a look at the recent lionfish population explosion, the reasons lionfish are the perfect invader and how they got to the wrong sea. The video also provides ways for REEF members to help, including participating in a REEF Lionfish Trip and by contributing financially to REEF so that we have the ability to continue research, set up management protocol and seek solutions. As Anna states, "The threat is too grave to sit back and do nothing."
  • Fox News Live Desk with Martha and Trace, Lad Akins discussed the lionfish invasion and REEF’s involvement, 8/15/2008
  • The NBC Nightly News, Michelle Kosinski reported on REEF’s crusade against the invasion of Pacific Lionfish in the Atlantic, 6/30/08
  • Forbes On-Line Magazine, 5/8/08

    REEF continues to seek solutions for this growing environmental problem affecting reefs in the Caribbean basin. For more information, check out the REEF Invasive Species page and our REEF Field Surveys and Trips. To support our work on this project, become an Invasive Species Program Sponsor