Lionfish CULL attacks reef pest

| 19/08/2014

(CNS): Divers removed 579 lionfish with a total weight of more than 250 pounds from Cayman Islands reefs this weekend during the third lionfish tournament this year organized by CULL (Cayman United Lionfish League). Sixty scuba divers and free divers in 13 teams signed up for Cull #12 Summer Showdown to help get rid of the invasive and voracious fish and compete for the cash prizes on offer, according to the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, which supports the effort towards helping Cayman's underwater ecosystem. Afterwards, the reef pests were cooked up by the chefs at Rackams, who provided delectable sautéed lionfish on garlic crostinis. (See related video below)

This tournament saw CULL team up with ‘Culling For A Cause’ to sponsor ARK (Act of Random Kindness) by donating the remainder of the fish to the cause to retain the profits. One of the teams was even so generous to donate their own prize winnings to this noble cause.

Rackams again provided the headquarters for this tournament and registration took place on Thursday 14 August. The weigh-ins on Saturday and Sunday evening allowed teams to have their prize catches weighed and measured before being cooked up by the chefs at Rackams who provided delectable sautéed lionfish on garlic crostinis.

Gold sponsor Foster’s Food Fair donated $4,800 in cash prizes and $500 was awarded to each first place winner and $100 for each second place in four separate categories for both Scuba Diving and Free Diving divisions:

Scuba Divers:
• Most Lionfish:
– 1st Place – Ambassador Divers – 130
– 2nd Place – Team Lisa – 72

• Biggest Lionfish
– 1st Place – Ambassador Divers – 294mm
– 2nd Place – Hog Heaven – 293mm

• Smallest Lionfish
– 1st Place – Ball & Chain – 54mm
– 2nd Place – Ambassador Divers – 58mm

• Overall Weight
– 1st Place – Ambassador Divers – 32.2kg
– 2nd Place –Culling For A Cause – 13.6kg

Free Divers:
• Most Lionfish:
– 1st Place – Green Water – 130
– 2nd Place – Cayman Deep – 42

• Biggest Lionfish
– 1st Place – Cayman Deep – 304mm
– 2nd Place – Green Water – 297mm

• Smallest Lionfish
– 1st Place – Green Water – 49mm
– 2nd Place – Green Water – 60mm

• Overall Weight
– 1st Place – Green Water – 14.8kg
– 2nd Place – Cayman Deep – 9.4kg

New CITA Executive Director, Tiffany Dixon-Ebanks, said, “CITA is pleased to lend support to initiatives that will lead to the eradication of the Lionfish from our pristine waters. We would certainly like to extend congratulations to the CULL team for another successful event – good job! The CITA also extends thanks to Foster’s Food Fair for their generous sponsorship of this very worthy cause.”

The Cayman United Lionfish League thanked all sponsors who made this tournament possible, especially Foster’s Food Fair, as well as CITA, Rackam’s Waterfront Bar & Grill, Ambassador Divers, Vibe 98.9, Spin 94.9, DoE, Signs of Paradise and Monogram’s and More.

See CNS Library entry: Lionfish problem

Related video on CNS Business:


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Imprting Lionfish should be made illegal or put a duty on it that will go towards helping fight the invasion.. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    And remember to order lionfish when its on special at whatever restaurant you're in. But if you see it as a regular item ask if its imported. Its no help to Cayman's reefs if groups like CULL are doing all this work to make lionfish 'a thing' and the restaurants serve imported lionfish (or something else) becaue its cheaper. Thats just a stab in the back by the restaurants looking to cash in rather than do somthing good for our reefs. (Kudos to those that only serve local lionfish.)