News Releases

Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day is May 16

News Release

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Media contact: FWC and lionfish questions, Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943, Guy Harvey Magazine, Fred Garth, 850-380-6680, Gulf Coast Lionfish Coalition, Andy Ross, 850-529-2475 (for tournament questions)

Are you ready to find out how many lionfish can be removed from Florida waters in one weekend?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is celebrating its first annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day by hosting and promoting a weekend of exciting events across the state, starting Saturday, May 16.

Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (the first Saturday after Mother’s Day each year) was created by FWC Commissioners to raise awareness about lionfish, a nonnative, invasive species that have a potential negative impact on native species and habitat.

Ready to help? The FWC will be hosting a Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day Festival and Tournament in Pensacola and promoting several other events hosted across the state. Find a lionfish event in your area by visiting MyFWC.com/Lionfish and clicking on “Lionfish Derbies and Events.” Can’t make any of the organized events? Remove lionfish on your own and report your catch to the Report Florida Lionfish app or online at MyFWC.com/Lionfish by clicking “Report Lionfish.” Share your photos with us by using the #FWCLionfish on Twitter or Instagram.

The FWC also will unveil its new Reef Ranger program this same weekend.

“We are thankful to all the groups that helped organize the Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day Festival and Tournament in Pensacola, as well as all those who are hosting their own events across the state,” said FWC Commissioner Bo Rivard. “These efforts will help ensure we keep the lionfish issue on the forefront of everyone’s thoughts and minds.”

“I am looking forward to being in Pensacola on May 16 in support of the FWC’s efforts to raise awareness of the growing problem with lionfish,” said artist and marine conservationist Dr. Guy Harvey. “Hopefully the series of events that are taking place around the state this weekend will help shine a light on the issue and, most importantly, inform the public that lionfish are good to eat and how to prepare them.”    

Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day Festival and Tournament

  • When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 16-17
  • Where: Plaza de Luna, 900 S. Palafox St., Pensacola
  • What:
    • Celebrity chef demonstrations
    • Lionfish tastings and fillet demos
    • World famous artist and marine conservationist Guy Harvey
    • Family-friendly activities
    • More than 40 art, diving and conservation vendors
    • Music, food and tons of helpful lionfish information.
    • Tournament: Hosted by Gulf Coast Lionfish Coalition (GCLC). Visit GulfCoastLionfish.com/lionfish_events or visit its Facebook page at Facebook.com/GulfCoastLionfishCoalition.
    • Also: Guy Harvey will be signing autographs from noon to 2 p.m., May 16 at the Pensacola Museum of Art, where his newest exhibit is expected to run May 9 through Aug. 9. Visit PensacolaMuseum.org to learn more. Harvey also will throw out the first pitch at the Blue Wahoo’s baseball game that Saturday night.

Questions?

Contact the FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management at 850-487-0554.



FWC Facts:
Belt-pack and suspender-style life jackets start at approximately $60. Some inflate automatically when a person falls into the water; others inflate by pulling a cord.

Learn More at AskFWC