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Annual lionfish derby sign-up still open

There’s still time to sign up for the third annual Winter Lionfish Derby.

Residents with up-to-date lionfish culling permits are invited to brave the cold and participate.

According to event organisers, Bermuda’s lionfish seem to move closer to shore through the winter and into shallower water, which makes them easy targets.

“Considering the overall threat that invasive lionfish represent, we think an annual winter derby provides a unique opportunity to catch big numbers of lionfish in an easy and fun way, ultimately making a pretty big dent in their population,” the event website states.

The 2017 derby, which has a $25 entrance fee, started on January 1 and will run until January 28, when it wraps up with a party and awards ceremony.

“As in years past, there will be cash prizes in both freediver and scuba diver categories,” the organisers added.

“This year, however, we hope to have additional prizes for lionfish hunters who did not bring in big numbers, but still deserve a prize for their efforts.

“So even if you only spear one single lionfish, you still might win something.”

Every lionfish hunter who provides organisers with their catch will receive an official Winter Lionfish Derby hooded sweatshirt.

For those hunters who came home empty-handed, “there will be a limited number of sweatshirts available for purchase at a reasonable price”.

With the tournament focused on shallow areas, organisers reminded those participating to fly their lionfish flag while culling and to have their yellow lionfish tag with them.

For more information, visit www.bermudalionfish.com/winterderby, e-mail organisers at info@lionfish.bm or through www.facebook.com/events/378351969164408/. Registration and payment is available through www.ptix.bm/Event/2416/Bermudas-third-annual-Winter-L/