Providenciales, TCI, October 13, 2016 – The Turks & Caicos Islands will be hosting its first annual Lionfish Festival. The Festival, hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Heritage and Culture’s along with the Department of Environment & Coastal Resources (DECR) and the Department of Culture, in conjunction with the Turks & Caicos Reef Fund, on Providenciales and Grand Turk respectively and will include a REEF-sanctioned Lionfish Derby.
“This is not only an event for fishermen, but for families too! At each event we have a jam-packed afternoon planned, where you can watch the Derby’s catch be weighed, sample this delicious fish, have your face painted or watch a live dissection; all to some local music!” said DECR Outreach Coordinator, Amy Avenant.
Provo’s Lionfish Festival is slated for October 29th at Turtle Cove Marina and Grand Turk’s the following week on November 5th 2016, at the Public Library. Although the Derby will kick off at sunrise, festivities will begin at 2pm on each day. So be sure to bring your family and friends along to have fun and to support reef conservation in the Turks & Caicos Islands!
The lionfish derbies will be a single day competition to collect and remove as many lionfish as possible. Teams will collect lionfish by spearing while free diving or snorkeling. Teams will begin competing at sunrise and will be required to bring their catch to the scoring station by 3:00pm (South Caicos residents can participate in the Grand Turk Derby and the School for Field Studies will conduct scoring on South Caicos and report it to the organizers on Grand Turk). Each fish will then be measured, and cash prizes are awarded for teams catching the most, biggest, and smallest lionfish.
Register at http://www.tcreef.org/lionfishderby.html or pick up a registration form at your nearest DECR office.