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 Lionfish@MyFWC.com.
  • 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 Lionfish@MyFWC.com 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 Tournament Contact
February 1st- May 13th, 2021 Destin, Fl Emerald Coast Open Pretournament info@emeraldcoastopen.com
March 18th, 2021 Lakeland, FL Lionfish Invasion Presentation otwacassi@gmail.com
April 23rd-25th, 2021 Key Largo, FL REEF Earth Day Lionfish Derby alli@REEF.org
May 14th-16th, 2021 Destin, FL Emerald Coast Open info@emeraldcoastopen.com
May 15th-16th, 2021 Destin, FL Lionfish Removal & Awareness Festival Lionfish@MyFWC.com
June 5th-6th, 2021 St. Petersburg, FL 2021 Tampa Bay Spearfishing Challenge captainbillhardman@gmail.com
June 11th-13th, 2021 Ft. Pierce, FL Treasure Coast Lionfish Safari mcii@marinecleanupinitiativeinc.org
June 12th, 2021 Miami, FL Summer Series Miami Lionfish Derby alexa@saltyspines.com
July 15th, 2021 Lakeland, FL Lionfish Invasion Presentation otwacassi@gmail.com
July 17th, 2021 Miami, FL Summer Series Miami Lionfish Derby alexa@saltyspines.com
July 28th-29th, 2021 Key Largo Lobstermania alli@reef.org
August 5th-7th, 2021 St. Augustine, FL 2021 North Florida Shootout mjax295@yahoo.com
August 14th, 2021 Miami, FL Summer Series Miami Lionfish Derby alexa@saltyspines.com
August 15th, 2021 Deerfield Beach, FL DX Divers Lionfish Derby
September 9th-12th, 2021 Islamorada, FL Florida Keys Lionfish Festival and Tournament alli@REEF.org
October 2nd-3rd, 2021 Navarre, FL Navarre Fishing Rodeo

Add your tournament to our calendar!

Email the tournament name, date, location, contact information and tournament website to Lionfish@MyFWC.com.