It’s that time of the year again! Become the predator in this year’s 2022 Lionfish Challenge and help the Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) eradicate some of Florida’s most invasive underwater species. If you aren’t a commercial or recreational diver, you would be astounded to see the actual sheer amount of lionfish that threaten our coasts. First found in Florida in the mid-1980s, the population of lionfish has surged to incredible numbers in the last 15 years. Among other stressors to native habitats such as pollution, disease, overfishing and much more, the lionfish is a detriment to native fish populations and can end up causing a chain of problems due to their hefty appetites (eating herbivores that eat the algae off of coral reefs and cause algae blooms that kill native corals).
For a write-up on how last year’s challenge went, you can see the official numbers on myfwc.com with a whopping total of 21,146 lionfish removed from 2021 participants.
This year’s tournament lasts the length of Summer, is open to all participants anywhere in Florida, and is completely free to enter. This year is already gearing up to be one of the most packed and exciting that we’ve ever seen.
To learn more about the 2022 Lionfish Challenge and to register your spot, go to the FWC Reef Rangers website.