Second lionfish tournament scheduled

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A second lionfish roundup is
scheduled to be held over Halloween weekend.

Divers and snorkelers who took part
in the first roundup of the invasive fish last month captured and killed more
than 500, and organisers hope the next one will be even more successful.

The captured lionfish will be
cooked by chefs at the Sunshine Grill at Sunshine Suites. After the first
roundup, the lionfish were served up as chowder, fritters, fillets and whole at
Mezza restaurant.

Mike Dill, manager of the Sunshine
Grill, which is well known for its fish tacos, said it was likely that lionfish
tacos would be on the menu following the event.

“The Department of Environment are
going to come and train my chefs how to clean and handle the fish,” he said,
adding that he has not tried lionfish himself, but is looking forward to
tasting it.

Lionfish spines are venomous and
can cause severe pain, nausea and numbness if they puncture a person’s skin.
The flesh of the fish is safe to eat.

“I think this next one is going to
blow us away,” said Jason Washington of Ambassador Divers, one of the roundup
organisers. “We had a lot of calls from people who missed out on the last one
and are really anticipating taking part in this one.”

During the upcoming roundup,
lionfish catchers who have been certified to cull the fish by the Department of
Environment, will catch the lionfish in nets and with spears and take them to
Sunshine Suites where their catch will be weighed in at 5pm on 30 October and
4pm on 31 October. On Monday, 1 November, a feast of lionfish dishes will be
served up at the restaurant to the participants.

Mr. Washington said there had been
a lot of interest in the upcoming roundup, not only from divers, but also from
restaurants that want to take part. “We had calls from some high-end
restaurants about the upcoming roundup, but we thought Sunshine Grill would be
the perfect venue – it’s casual, it’s outside, people can just show up in their
swimming shorts.”

Mr. Washington said there are also
plans to set up a lionfish league.

To get more information or to sign up to take part in the lionfish roundup, email [email protected] or contact Ambassador Divers on 916-1064.

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