Cullers remove more than 300 lionfish from reefs

The 33rd lionfish culling tournament, held over the weekend, saw divers armed with spears removing 311 lionfish from local reefs.

Despite challenging sea conditions and rough weather, seven teams took to the coral reefs to hunt the invasive species in the Cayman United Lionfish League (CULL) tournament.

After the teams returned to land with their catches, the fish were weighed and measured at Macabuca in West Bay, where the cullers were then treated to some of the fruits of their labour, with freshly prepared lionfish dishes, such as ceviche and chowder, served.

Prizes were given for the smallest and biggest specimens, for the most lionfish caught per culler, and for the most total weight of lionfish per culler.

The first, second and third prize for smallest lionfish went to the same team – Green Water – whose members caught lionfish measuring 44mm, 55mm and 62mm, respectively.

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Cullers were treated to freshly prepared dishes, such as this lionfish with plantain chips and escovitch, at Macabuca.

The prizes for biggest and second biggest lionfish went to iDive, at 288mm and 275mm, respectively, with third place going to Get Stung with a fish that was 274mm long.

The award for most lionfish per culler went to iDive at 34.5 fish. Green Water took second place with 30.3 per culler, followed by Get Stung with 21.6 lionfish per culler.

The awards for most weight of lionfish per culler went to iDive, in first place with 9.75kg per culler; Get Stung in second place (4.6kg/culler); and Dam Duikers in third place with 2.45kg/culler.

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