Akumal will be the place to be on Sunday May 18, as local Lionfish hunters will team up for the 1st annual Akumal Lionfish Challenge. Teams will return from the hunt at 4:00 pm and turn in their catch at the Akumal Dive Center. Judges will then weigh and measure each fish to determine the winners of this exciting and important event. Prizes will be awarded for the heaviest fish caught, the longest fish, smallest fish, greatest total number of fish caught by team among other categories. In the evening, Lol Ha Beach Bar will host a free Lionfish Tasting, for everyone to enjoy.
If you are an experienced Lionfish hunter and would like to register your team or find a team to join, email CEA Akumal at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 52 (984) 875 9095. A complete listing of rules and regulations can be found here on the Akumal Lionfish Challenge Facebook event page.
Many Riviera Maya locals know that although lionfish are beautiful to look at, they’re not native to this part of the world. Lionfish sit at the top of their food chain, so their presence takes a huge toll on the coral reef wildlife while the lionfish quickly grow in number and take over the area.
The invasion of predatory lionfish in the Caribbean region poses a major threat to coral reef ecosystems – a new study has found that within a short period after the entry of lionfish into an area, the survival of other reef fish is slashed by about 80 percent.
Aside from the rapid and immediate mortality of marine life, the loss of herbivorous fish also sets the stage for seaweeds to potentially overwhelm the coral reefs and disrupt the delicate ecological balance in which they exist, according to scientists from Oregon State University. Following on the heels of overfishing, sediment depositions, nitrate pollution in some areas, coral bleaching caused by global warming, and increasing ocean acidity caused by carbon emissions, the lionfish invasion is a serious concern.
Source: Akumal Dive Shop