The 2015 Central Abaco Lionfish Derby removed 1,062 lionfish from Abaco waters. Lionfish are an aggressively invasive species to The Bahamas that negatively impact the ecosystem. The awards dinner was held May 30 at the Jib Room in Marsh Harbour. Several lionfish dishes were prepared and served at the dinner including lionfish dip.
“Grouper Lips” caught the most with 387 lionfish. “Vincent” caught the largest: 35.9cm. The smallest lionfish caught was 3.4cm by “The Tin Can.”
Eight boats participated in total.
Many of the lionfish had juvenile lionfish in their stomachs which was a new observation this year. Typically other native fish have been observed in lionfish stomachs, including Nassau groupers.
The Fish House, a yearly sponsor, helped clean and prepare the lionfish for serving. Gurth Russell, with the Fish House, was accidentally stuck with a lionfish spine. Hot water was prepared to neutralize the swelling and pain.
The Central Abaco Lionfish Derby is organized by Friends of the Environment.