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Join us at the the Flora-Bama Yacht Club & Ole River Grill on Perdido Key, May 19-20 for the Lionfish Removal & Awareness Day Festival and Tournament.
At this family-friendly event, you'll get a chance to experience lionfish for yourself, prepared by local celebrity chefs. Sounds delicious, doesn't it? If that's not enough, there will be a kid activity area, fillet demonstrations, a vendor area and live music performed by Little Texas.
Why is there a festival in the first place?
We are a very diverse group of locals in the Pensacola Bay Area and welcome visitors from all over, but not all visitors are welcome. That's right; you read that correctly, and that's why the natives have their spears sharpened and ready for a hunt.
In recent years the waters along the Florida coastline have been invaded by an invasive fish called the lionfish. These spiny-finned fish have almost no natural predators and have a taste for the local fish population. They are native to the Indo-Pacific region and the Red Sea, but outside their natural habitat, they have no known predators.
I mentioned they have no natural predators, but there is one exception, you and I, and that's why the divers have their lionfish spears ready for a hunt. You see, lionfish aren't caught with a hook, line and sinker, but with a spear. The good news, lionfish, is a delicious white and flaky fish, and that's why many local chefs in the Pensacola Bay Area are putting it on the menu.
That's why this festival is important. We want to raise awareness of these fish and education you on how you can help. Also, the event is also a lionfish tournament where spear fisherman from all over will compete to win.
Make A Day Of It
While visiting the festival make sure to make time to explore Perdido Key. Perdido Key, a barrier island, is located as far west as you can go in northwest Florida. The Island is a paradise for nature lovers looking to explore the outdoors. Guests can kayak and camp at Big Lagoon State Park, relax on the beach at Perdido Key State Park and explore miles of undeveloped coastline in the Gulf Islands National Seashore.