Mike Hancock Receives Prizes For Most Lion Fish Caught
In an effort to maintain the unique diversity of the Belize Barrier Reef Ecosystem and reduce the population of the invasive lionfish, monthly lionfish tournaments have been taking place since April of 2010 and will end November 2010 culminating in a grand prize on December 15, 2010.
The tournament is open to fishermen and tour guides who capture and deliver the most lionfish each month and prizes are given to the person who collects the most at the end of the month.
Michael Hancock has won 1st place for the month of June (70 Lion fish), 1st place in July (98 Lion Fish) and 2nd Place in August (52 Lion Fish) and he received a bike, a polarized sunglass, a phone, and a hurricane lamp. Congratulations to Mike and to Rudy Duran for winning the 1st place in August with 220 Lion Fish (WOW)!
After the first confirmed sighting of a lionfish in Belize in December 2008, ECOMAR began working with the Belize Fisheries Department to raise awareness on the problems that are anticipated as a result of the increasing number of lionfish in the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve Ecosystem.
These actions formed the development of the “Belize Lionfish Project,” an outreach program that is being coordinate by ECOMAR in association with the Belize Fisheries Department, fishing cooperatives; tour guide associations and other NGOs in Belize which are members of the Belize National Coral Reef Monitoring Network.
The goal of the Belize Lionfish Project is to raise awareness on this invasive fish, educate key stakeholders on how they can become involved in protecting their future livelihood, determine the source of lionfish in Belize through scientific studies, and garner renewed enthusiasm and interest in protecting the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System and the associated marine areas.