What better way to celebrate the Belize Barrier Reef, creating awareness and protecting it than by a massive hunting of Lion Fish which are so detrimental to the health of our reef. This was the purpose for Hol Chan Marine Reserve in San Pedro in organizing a Lion Fish Tournament as part of its Reef Week activities.
Only four out of an initial seven boats were able to participate in the tournament, but it was enough to kill and rid our reef of over 300 invasive Lion Fish that pose a threat to the marine life on the coral reef.
“The tournament was not about winning,” said Josue (Chino) Vasquez of team Sea Star Tours/Dive Bar. “It is about getting rid of as much Lion Fish that we can from our waters. It’s about having fun and supporting the efforts of Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Reef Week.”
This was the sentiment of all participants of the tournament as they reiterate that all dive shops on the island take much pride of the reef and are always willing to kill off the Lion Fish whenever they encounter them during their tours.
Everette Anderson of Belize Diving Adventures with his mini lion fish
Team Dive Bar very happy with their win
Team Amigos del Mar
Team Fish Snipers
Dive Bar/Sea Star Tours captured the $1,000 cash prize by catching the most fish, 175 of them and also won 15 gallons of fuel by capturing the largest Lion Fish that measured 39cm long. Bringing in the smallest fish was Belize Diving Adventure. Everette Anderson and his team could not make it out at sea to compete but he managed to snap an 8.5cm small Lion Fish at one of the neighboring docks of his dive shop. His entry counted and won him 15 gallons of fuel.
Coming in second place ($750) was Amigos del Mar team with 100 fish and Fish Snipers came in third ($400) with 31 fish.
Jewelry maker from Caye Caulker takes advantage of the tournamet to collect as many Lion Fish spines to make jewelry with