Divers caught over 24,000 Lionfish at Destin-Fort Walton Beach
DESTIN, Fl. (WTVY) - Over the weekend, the 5th Annual Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Tournament set a record for the successful removal of lionfish.
Divers caught 24,699 lionfish, beating last year’s total of 13,835.
Trey Goodwin, Okaloosa County Board Chairman, claims that catching these fish helps create a sustainable marine ecosystem. Lionfish have few known predators because of their venomous spines.
For the past five years, Fort-Walton Beach has hosted an Open Fish Tournament to eradicate this invasive species in the Gulf of Mexico. The diver who catches the most wins the prize money totaling $100,000. Citizens & tourists can learn more about lionfish through educational booths set up by participating venders.
Before the tournament begins, well known chefs and restaurants whip up tasty dishes that involves lionfish. La Paz is this years winner with a dish called Filete de Lionfish Empapelado that includes: lionfish, epazote, calabacitas, carrot, potato, and peppers.
More results and information can be found at www.emeraldcoastopen.com. For more information on Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida, please visit www.destinfwb.com. ##
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