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lion fish tournament

Sunday, December 2, 2012 marked the date for the first annual La Romana/Bayahibe Lion Fish Tournament sponsored by Fundemar and the La Romana/Bayahibe Tourism Cluster. A spectacularly large turnout of local fisherman, businesses, supporters, and residents set the scene for an exciting day of competition and celebration. The significance of the event resonates strongly with the community – shown by the success of the event.

11 teams aboard 10 boats took part – a total of 47 participants. Taking part in the “diving” category were 2 independent teams, 2 teams from Pro Excursions, one from each of the local diving outfitters; Scuba Fun, Coral Point and GriGri Divers. During the tournament, 452 Lion Fish were captured and 7 prizes were awarded to those who had caught the largest number of fish in each category, as well as prizes for the smallest and largest Lion Fish caught.”

— Rita Sellares, Director of FUNDEMAR


As competitors weighed in their catch, the lion fish were immediately filleted and grilled for all to enjoy during the prize ceremony. Supporters and competitors alike dined generously on the fresh, flaky white fish and toasted to the success of a day’s dedication to protecting our local marine ecosystem. I am proud to have been a competitor in this event and impressed at the support and passion exhibited by our local community.

An invasive and poisonous species, the lion fish or Pterois volitans, threaten the local commercial fishing and tourism industries along with destruction of our fragile coral reef environment and its inhabitants. The extreme range of depth and temperature tolerance allows the lion fish to flourish and rapidly reproduce endangering many of our native marine species and corals. Local efforts to control this population play an important role in minimizing the negative effects to the area’s environment and economy. Luckily, lion fish are also a flavorful delicacy.

1st annual La Romana – Bayahibe Lion Fish Tournament: The Winners!

WINNER: The boat “Gerandy” from Bayahibe – with 98 Lion Fish caught

Diving with a spear
WINNER: The boat “Evelyn 1” from La Romana – with 75 Lion Fish caught

Smallest Lion Fish
WINNER: The boat “Thor”of Gri Gri Divers – measuring just 6.2cm long

Largest Lion Fish
WINNER: The fisherman of La Romana (Caleta) – measuring a whopping 30.5cm

lion fish tournament

The winners from the “Gerandy”

Interesting Facts about Lionfish


• A Lionfish can eat up to 20 fish in less than 30 minutes.

• It can exterminate at least 80% of native fish in a very short period of time.

• It lays between 1, 5000 to 2,000 eggs three times a month (that is up to 45,000 eggs per month!)

• Lionfish are an Asian species that were introduced in North America thanks to the exotic aquarium industry. The mishandling of these fish in that industry caused the introduction of the species into these waters around the US and they are now migrating South.


FUNDEMAR is an organisation dedicated to the promote, advise, plan and maintain sustainable use of the marine ecosystem and its resources through research, education and conservation policies. It has a technical team based working on science, vocation and efficiency, who develop projects with the misson of accomplishing the organisation’s objectives.

FUNDEMAR website: