|Turks and Caicos to go on the hunt for lionfish|
|Thursday, 08 July 2010 08:07|
Lionfish beware — people from all walks of life will be out to get you, dead or alive, on Saturday, July 24.
In an effort to rid our pristine waters of these creatures that are wrecking havoc on our precious ecosystem, the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources is organizing a fun family event to help raise awareness for the important cause.
The Lionfish Hunt will be taking place on three islands, including Providenciales, Grand Turk and South Caicos. The hunt will begin at 7 a.m., and participants have seven hours — until 3 p.m. — to catch as many of these feisty critters as they can.
No fishing will be permitted in the National Parks, and no other marine life must be taken, such as lobster and conch.
Prizes will be awarded to individuals and groups who catch the most lionfish on each of the participating islands during the day’s festivities.
There will be a prize presentation at 4:30 p.m., including a $600 for first place, $300 for second $100 for third.
Everyone is encouraged to participate. The public is also welcome to come enjoy live DJ music and a Lionfish Grilling Demonstration and Tasting. On Providenciales the event will take place at the Caicos Marina and Shipyard in Long Bay, on Grand Turk at The Sand Bar and on South Caicos at Conch Ground Bay.
The DECR encourages participants to use hard gloves when handling the lionfish because the spines are venomous.
The lionfish population is multiplying in record numbers in local waters. “If we cannot stop them, we will be looking at a dead reef,” said DECR Director Wesley Clerveaux. He says the lionfish problem is a “disaster in the making,” and the whole community needs to get involved in order to protect our environment and avoid the economic impact a dead reef could have on the tourism market.
The DECR is also working on creating a lionfish cookbook to encourage more people to use the fish as a staple in their diet.
Proud sponsors of the Lionfish Public Awareness Campaign include DECR, LIME, Provo Turtle Divers, Where When How & Dining Guide, Daniel Petkovski, Mother’s Pizza, Flamingo Café, and the Caicos Marina and Shipyard.
Register at your local DECR office between Monday, July 12, and Friday, July 23. You can contact the DECR at 649-941-5122 on Provo, 649-946-2801 on Grand Turk, and 649-946-3709 on South Caicos.
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