They’re beautiful. They can be painful. And they are considered pests in coastal waters.
That’s why the first of what’s being touted as the “Lionfish Shootout” began in Orange Beach. Saturday, anglers and divers showed up with their catches for prizes and bragging rights.
The Gulf Coast Lionfish Coalition is working to educate Florida and Alabama fishermen and divers that the Lionfish is considered an invasive species and are rapidly elbowing out native reef fish populations.
Chefs and foodies also say they are good to eat. Just watch out for those spines when cleaning your catch. One of the reasons lionfish are doing so well in the Gulf of Mexico is because of the lack of predators and their spines which can cause a painful sting.
Popular in aquariums, the lionfish has quickly adapted to its coastal environment. This shootout was held at SanRoc Cay Marina in Orange Beach.
Four more events are scheduled. Contact the Gulf Coast Lionfish Coalition for information on the next four shootouts that are planned this summer.
FOX10News would like to thank the Gulf Coast Lionfish Coalition and SanRoc Cay Marina for sending us photographs of Saturday’s event.