News Releases

2018 Lionfish Festival, new location, same fun

News Release

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943 or

Toolkit:  External Website
Lionfish Festival Promo Video (YouTube): External Website

Diver With Lionfish

Mark your calendars. The 2018 Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival is Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Celebrate Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (May 19) with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and partners.

This year’s fourth annual event will be at a new location: the Flora-Bama Yacht Club and Ole River Grill in Perdido Key on the Florida/Alabama coastal border.

The venue has changed, but the fun remains the same. Activities include fillet demonstrations, free lionfish tastings prepared by celebrity chefs, family-friendly games and activities, and more than 40 art, diving and conservation booths.

New this year, a benefit concert by Little Texas External Website at 5 p.m. Sunday, May 20, presented by Coast Watch Alliance and Lionfish University.

Do you harvest lionfish? The event also coincides with the annual Lionfish World Championship Tournament, External Website hosted by Coast Watch Alliance.

Double your chances at prizes and glory by signing up for the tournament and the 2018 Lionfish Challenge, an FWC lionfish removal incentive program that starts on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day. Thanks to this year’s sponsors, find an FWC-tagged lionfish, and possibly win up to $5,000. Harvesters who remove the most lionfish will be crowned the recreational Lionfish King/Queen and the Commercial Champion. Register today at

The Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival and the Lionfish World Championship Tournament are presented by sponsors Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Wind Creek Atmore and OWA (

Statewide lionfish events

Can’t make the Perdido Key festival and tournament? Find an event near you External Websiteby clicking on “Lionfish Festival” at the top of and scrolling down. Statewide events include:

  • Lion Tamer Tournament – Panama City Beach.
  • Sebastian Lionfish Fest – Sebastian.
  • FSDA Lionfish Calcutta – St. Petersburg.

Look for other event updates at by clicking on “Lionfish Derbies and Events.”


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

What is Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day?

Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (the first Saturday after Mother’s Day each year) raises awareness about lionfish; a nonnative, invasive species that has the potential to negatively impact native species and habitat.

Thanks to the following 2018 Lionfish Challenge sponsors:

  • American Sportfishing Association.
  • Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.
  • Boat Owners Association of the United States.
  • National Marine Manufacturers Association.
  • Coastal Conservation Association Florida.
  • Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, Inc.
  • Dive Rite
  • Narked Scuba
  • Lionator Pole Spears


Support Florida lionfish control programs by purchasing new Rep Your Water lionfish hats External Website at Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.

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Photos (Flickr): External Website    

Lionfish Challenge Promotional Video (YouTube): External Website

Download Lionfish Challenge Promotional Video (Vimeo): External Website

FWC Facts:
Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards.

Learn More at AskFWC