Lionfish Eradication Initiative – Top Predator Competition


FIU SCUBA Cats Club Lionfish Derby Competition

Scientists are concerned about the rapid population growth of lionfish in Keys waters and their lack of a natural predator in the Atlantic. Lionfish are known to feed on commercially and ecologically important fish species – including snapper, grouper and shrimp – and can disrupt the balance of the marine ecosystem.

The FIU SCUBA Cat Club is making every beach and reef dive, from pompano Beach to the Florida Keys in the permitted areas, a lionfish derby between the club members!

Dive with the FIU SCUBA Cat Club divers and compete to become

The Top Lion Fish Predator! (most lionfish cought)

Prizes also go to largest and/or smallest lionfish caught

And Win a 25$  Gift Card


5 lion fish found in RJ reef was the greatest amount removed in one single dive. Congratulations to our Summer and Fall 2011 top predators: 

Denny Carvajal


Sebastian Usquiano


  • LIONFISH (Pterois volitans/miles) ELIGIBLE FOR ENTRY. Only lionfish  taken during FIU SCUBA Cat Club organized dives will be counted towards the contest. NO PREVIOUSLY CAUGHT OR FROZEN LIONFISH WILL BE ALLOWED, HOWEVER, PLEASE KEEP LIONFISH ON ICE.
  • The FIU SCUBA Cat Club reserves the right to keep some or all of the lionfish for a “lionfish tasting” for to be donated for research.
  • Individual club members or teams of club members (up to four) may be formed to compete in the lionfish competition.
  • Only legal means of capture, in areas where fishing is permitted, will be allowed. State and Federal fishing regulations and laws will be strictly enforced. ***Note: Florida Saltwater Fishing Licenses are required to collect lionfish in the state of Florida.
  •  Lionfish collected for the derby may not be collected from the Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPAs)- this rule applies to all participants including those who hold permits to legally remove lionfish from SPA areas.
  •  To qualify for prizes, participants must be registered FIU SCUBA Cat Club members and show proper identification.
  •  Safety: Each participant is responsible for their own gear, unless the club receives equipment donations or donations for equipment to provide for free to our participants at each dive event. We strongly encouraged participants to carry a thermos bottle containing hot, but not scalding, water for first aid purposes. Protective gloves must be worn when handling lionfish.
  •  Prizes will be awarded for most lionfish, largest lionfish and smallest lionfish. The club will keep record of the number of lionfish taken by each member during the semester on our website. Contest will end at the conclusion of every academic semester [Summer (May 1-Aug 19), Fall (Aug 20-Dec 23), & Spring (Jan 1-May1)], an FIU SCUBA Cat Club Officer will tally the lionfish and announce the winners.
  • Lionfish entries must be documented with a photograph of the fish and the club member who caught it. In the same fashion lionfish entries for largerst and smallest fish must be measured for length with a ruler. Largest and smallest fish will be determined by total length of the fish, in millimeters, measuring from tip of snout to tip of tail. An FIU SCUBA Cat Club Officer must validate entries.
  •  In the event of a tie, the winning team will be determined by the earliest recording of its lionfish.
  • Anyone found violating the competition rules will be disqualified from receiving any prizes.

 Great Links with more information on lionfish and the people who are also helping to remove them from our reefs:

Map with recent lionfish sightings:

Winning Prizes are brought to you by:

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