Lionfish Roundups in the Keys

The New York Times ran a great article today about the lionfish derbies now taking place in the Florida Keys.  Teams of divers are rounding up as many lionfish as possible within an allotted time, shearing off venomous spines, and keeping the bodies towards their count for a prize.  This actually sounds like a fun way to spend a weekend if you ask me.  Plus, the divers get to eat their quarry.  I haven’t tasted lionfish but from what I hear it’s absolutely delicious.

Curious to see how people filet lionfish without getting jabbed?  It’s not as tricky as it seems.

With a total count for spearing and bagging just in the hundreds, these derbies probably won’t be a long term method for controlling lionfish on local reefs.  In fact, the whole concept is taking a lot of heat from commenters (particularly online) for not doing more.  But it’s something.  A step in the right direction while we wait for further research for large scale management in the future.