Discovery Channel and the Lionfish Roundup

In the summer of 2009 we were happy to carry the Discovery Canada people out to learn about lionfish. These are the three episodes that resulted.

Cooking Special

2015 Lionfish/Lobster Tournament



3rd Annual "If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em Lionfish/Lobster Tournament" May 29 - June 7, 2015.

bistrobythesea Carteret Catch ECARA Logo logo Seahorse Coastal_Logo
3rd Annual
If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em Lionfish/Lobster Tournament
May 29 - June 7, 2015

We need your help to make Carteret County's 3rd Annual "If you Can't Beat 'em, Eat 'em" Spearfishing Tournament a success! This Tournament is a joint effort between Bistro-By-the-Sea, Discovery Diving, Carteret Catch, Eastern Carolina Artificial Reef Association (ECARA), and Seahorse Coastal Consulting.

The "If you Can't Beat 'em, Eat 'em" Spearfishing Tournament is an annual tournament to raise public awareness of the lionfish invasive species problem in the Atlantic; to develop a possible management strategy by creating the means for a sustainable commercial fishery; and to encourage the sale of locally caught seafood.

Lionfish, a native of the Indo-Pacific oceans, are an invasive species in the Atlantic Ocean and populations of these fish have been steadily moving up the Atlantic coast from Florida since the early 90's. It is native to the Indo-Pacific range, however lionfish populations have exploded here for the following reasons: 1) they have no known natural predators in the Atlantic Ocean; 2) they eat approximately half their own body weight each day, which leads to rapid growth and maturation; 3) scientists believe that the females are mature after six months and can lay about 30,000 eggs every 4 days; and 4) traditional fishing methods have not worked to harvest these fish. The combinations listed above have proven an incredibly toxic and destructive mix for the native species of grouper, snapper, and crustaceans in the fertile waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Native species are competing for grazing space and the juveniles of our native species are quickly becoming dinner for the lionfish.


This Spearfishing tournament is a 10 day event that begins with an educational forum Discovery Diving on Friday May 29th. Participants in the tournament will learn about the origins of the lionfish epidemic, discover issues associated with the epidemic, and learn how to properly spearfish and collect lionfish without being envenomated by their venomous spines. Special scuba diving charters have been set aside during the competition that will take participants to locations that are known to be overrun with lionfish. Additionally, some of catch will be prepared for participants at the closing ceremonie. All of these activities work to educate the public on the facts of the lionfish and their possible addition to a dinner menu.


lionfishroundupOFFICIAL RULES
  1. Participant's name must be provided at time of registration with Discovery Diving Company by 12 noon on May 29th unless the participant is scheduled on one of our charter boats, then participants may sign up on May 30th, before 7 am. The registration fee is $20.00.
  2. Registration may be done in person, by phone (252-728-2265) or by mail (address below) or email ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).
  3. Check (payable to Eastern Carolina Artificial Reef Assoc.), Credit Card (Visa/MC/Discover), Debit Card, or cash are acceptable forms of payment for the registration fee.
  4. This spearfishing contest is open to everyone. Participants must show a C-card, if using Scuba, and a current CRFL, unless the participant is on a boat that has a Blanket License, at the weight in.
  5. Entrants may pursue and attain targets by means of SCUBA, free diving, and snorkeling methods.
  6. Only guns, pole spears, and Hawaiian slings that are loaded by muscle power will be permitted. Power heads will not be permitted.
  7. Catch must be weighed in daily at Discovery Diving.  Weigh in times are between 10 am and 8 pm from May 30th until June 6th and between 10 am and 6 pm on June 7th.
  8. No frozen fish will be accepted. Any attempt to defraud or cheat in the tournament in any way will automatically disqualify the offender and all of his/her fish.
  9. Only official weights will be accepted.
  10. Knowledge of the local marine fishing laws and regulations is the entrant's responsibility and all laws will be strictly enforced.
  11. Prizes will be awarded accordingly:
    1. Lionfish – $500 will go to the largest aggregate total number of lionfish captured in the tourney. In the event of a tie, the decision will be made by who got them first.
    2. Lobster – $250 will go to the animal with the largest carapace and is limited only to the Spiny Lobster or Slipper Lobster
    3. Miscellaneous Edible Fish - $250 will go to the maximum total weight of three fish entered in this category. The Miscellaneous Edible Fish Category will exclude all Sharks, Rays, Barracuda and Amberjack.
  12. You or your appointed representative must be present (or accessible by phone) to accept the awards, which will be made at 6pm on June 7th, 2015.
  13. The resolution to any issue will be by the management of Discovery Diving Co., Inc. and their decision will be final.
  14. All winners must consent to the use of their names and images for the purpose of future promotional materials.
  15. All fish that are used for weighing and placement must be surrendered to Discovery Diving Co., Inc. for promotion of eating local seafood.
  16. For each fish turned in, participant will receive a ticket for prize raffle.

Photos by Karen Doody

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