Get Involved

Statewide Lionfish Control Efforts

Get Involved to Control Florida's Invasive Lionfish

Are you a diver, seafood lover, or passionate about the environment? Learn about ways to support control efforts by removing lionfish, eating lionfish, and educating others about the effects of lionfish.

The current most-effective way to remove lionfish is by divers using spearfishing equipment.

Ways for divers to get involved:
  • Participate in a lionfish tournament.
    • Lionfish tournaments can significantly reduce local lionfish populations and they are a great way to meet other divers and get involved in the Florida lionfish community.
    • To apply for the 2020-21 Tournament Sponsorship Program, send a FWC Lionfish Tournament Assistance Application to
  • Participate in one of our Lionfish Harvest Programs.
    • Recreational Lionfish Harvest Program 21-22: Provide an incentive for dive charters and dive shops to conduct lionfish-specific harvesting trips in an effort to increase the number of divers safely and confidently removing lionfish and to increase the number of lionfish removed from Florida waters.
    • Commercial Lionfish Harvest Program 21-22: Divers who possess a Saltwater Products License and sell their harvested lionfish commercially will receive compensation for the weight of their harvest.
  • Sell lionfish harvest to the commercial market.
  • Organize a lionfish removal event from an area where spearfishing is otherwise prohibited.
    • FWC issues permits to dive clubs, tournaments, and other organized events to remove lionfish from areas near public fishing piers, jetties, or areas that otherwise prohibit spearfishing activities. Contact to learn more and apply for a permit.

  • Lionfish have become a popular food fish. The fillets are firm, white, and flakey in texture and have a mild, non-fishy taste that is comparable to snapper, black sea bass, or hogfish.
  • While the spines of lionfish do contain venom, the flesh of a lionfish is not venomous or poisonous.
  • Watch a video on how to safely fillet a lionfish.
  • Lionfish can be found at many restaurants, seafood markets, and grocery stores across Florida. View a list of restaurants that previously or currently serve lionfish.

Help educate others to increase awareness about invasive lionfish and their effects on native species and habitats.

We want to see photos of your lionfish harvests!

2021 Lionfish Tournament and Event Calendar

Date Location Name Contact
February 1st- May 13th, 2021 Destin, Fl Emerald Coast Open Pretournament
March 18th, 2021 Lakeland, FL Lionfish Invasion Presentation
April 23rd-25th, 2021 Key Largo REEF Earth Day Lionfish Derby
May 14th-16th, 2021 Destin, FL Emerald Coast Open
May 15th-16th, 2021 Destin, FL Lionfish Removal & Awareness Festival
June 5th-6th, 2021 St. Petersburg, FL 2021 Tampa Bay Spearfishing Challenge
June 11th-13th, 2021 Ft. Pierce, FL Treasure Coast Lionfish Safari
June 12th, 2021 Miami, FL Summer Series Miami Lionfish Derby
June 24th-25th, 2021 Deerfield Beach, FL Dixie Divers Lionfish Derby 954.420.0009
July 15th, 2021 Lakeland, FL Lionfish Invasion Presentation
July 17th, 2021 Miami, FL Summer Series Miami Lionfish Derby
July 28th-29th, 2021 Key Largo, FL Lobstermania
August 5th-7th, 2021 St. Augustine, FL 2021 North Florida Shootout
August 14th, 2021 Miami, FL Summer Series Miami Lionfish Derby
August 15th, 2021 Deerfield Beach, FL DX Divers Lionfish Derby 954.420.0009
September 9th-12th, 2021 Islamorada, FL Florida Keys Lionfish Festival and Tournament
October 2nd-3rd, 2021 Navarre, FL Navarre Fishing Rodeo contact
October 15th-17th, 2021 Pensacola, FL Pensacola Lionfish Classic

Add your tournament to our calendar!

Email the tournament name, date, location, contact information and tournament website to