The introduction of the Lionfish to our Caribbean waters has developed into one of the biggest threats to the health of our delicate reef eco-system. Today there are 130 less of these invasive eating machines on our local reefs then there were last week thanks to the efforts of local divers who gathered to participate in the 1st annual Akumal Lionfish Challenge!!
For this first event, 4 teams registered with a total of 14 Lionfish Hunters. The teams entered the waters at dawn under a blanket of clouds and rain but that did not dampen the spirits of our brave hunters! Spears and keepers in hand they south to find and kill as many of these beautiful but detrimental fish in hopes of winning top honors in the contest.
Once the Lionfish were turned in to the judges, weighed and measured, the official results from the 1st Annual Akumal Lionfish Challenge were as follows:
Largest fish in length at 16.5 cm : Los Asesinos.
Largest fish in weight at .832 km : Los Eradics.
Most fish caught with 69 pieces : Los Asesinos.
Smallest fish in weight at .020 kg : Los Asesinos.
Smallest fish in length at 4.9 cm : Team Zissou.
The total number of fish caught during the event was 130 with a total weight of 42.086 kg!
Following the hunt and judging participants and interested onlookers were invited to to sample fresh Lionfish ceviche and Lionfish tacos prepared by the talented Chefs at Lol Ha! Prizes were generously donated by Budha Gardens Spa, Dive witih Natalie and Ivan, Villas Flamingo, Hotel Akumal Caribe, Lolha Restaurant, Sheri Banuelos , Akumal Dive Center, Los Hijos del Mar and Yal-Cu Kai Condos.
Congratulations to all the teams that participated and huge thanks to everyone who organized, sponsored and participated in the 1st annual Akumal Lionfish Challenge!
The date for next year’s event has been tentatively set for May 17, 2015 and organizers hope that the Akumal Lionfish Challenge will grow into a destination, attracting Lionfish Hunters from around the world and benefiting not only our precious reef but the Akumal community.
Eat more Lionfish!