Cayman United Lionfish League’s (CULL) 24th lionfish cull is now in the books. This weekend, cullers removed 545 of the invasive pests from the reef.
Any way you look at it, 545 is a lot of lionfish, but it’s far from the tournament record of more than 1,300.
One reason may be predation.
Cayman 27’s Joe Avary recounted witnessing from a distance a massive grouper and a moray eel working together to make a meal out of a lionfish.
Mark Orr of CULL said he’s not the only diver seeing this kind of thing.
“What we are seeing is the predators are out there are starting to eat the lionfish and keep them off the reef, who knows – there hopefully won’t be a need for these tournaments in the near future – but eventually that’s what we were praying for, that nature is going to balance that out,” said Mr. Orr.
Smallest lionfish: Team green water came back from a hiatus to claim first and third. John Ferguson’s “Geezers” took second place.
Biggest fish, the tiebreaker for second place went to Geezers for a 280 millimeter beast. DiveTech settled for 3rd with the same size fish. Ambassador Divers once agains reigns triumphant in the biggest fish category.
DiveTech was back on top in most weight and most fish categories – this is per culler – with 55 fish and 37.4 pounds per culler over Ambassador Divers and Neptune’s Wenches.