star Be part of April 1–30! star
Collection permits will be issued for a three-day lionfish research cruise on board the recreational dive charter M/V FLING. In recent years, lionfish derbies have served to raise awareness of the invasive lionfish problem and remove large quantities of lionfish throughout the tropical western Atlantic (southeastern United States, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico). Unfortunately, this type of one-day dive/snorkel event is not practical for Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary due to the remote location and the depth of our reefs. As an alternative, we host a Lionfish Invitational. This multi-day event is a science-based research expedition in which 11 dive teams work to remove as many lionfish as possible, while also recording helpful data on lionfish activity and sightings. In addition, a science team of 8 divers conducts surveys to determine what species, quantities and sizes of fish are present at each designated site before and after the removals.