Lionfish are a plague in Atlantic waters and have even made it to the Gulf of Mexico. While their termination is unlikely, events like this roundup do have a beneficial impact.
Teams competed to bring in the most, largest, and smallest lionfish they could spear for the set hours of the lionfish roundup tournament. Over 450 lionfish were harvested and used to feed the crowd who came to watch the spectacle at the weigh-in.
Lionfish are invasive creatures to this part of the world and have created an established breeding population due to people dumping lionfish for over 25 years.
Lionfish have few predators to fear themselves in these waters so they go unchecked and prey on the same food as grouper and snapper, taking away from those species.
This video shows some awesome footage from the winning team; check out the population control done here.
People should certainly be more cautious about returning any species to the wild and speak with local wildlife authorities before doing so.
Many pets are not native and their existence in a food chain can create a serious problem for our natural habitat and its native species.