Divers break Lionfish’s lowest record at Emerald Coast Open 2022

DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — A 39 millimeter lionfish (yes, we said milli) now holds the smallest fish record for the Emerald Coast Open.

Such a small feature earned the Alabama Jammin dive team a cash prize of $5,000.

The hunters captured a total of 13,827 lionfish on the entire tournament, including pre-tournament numbers from February.

Organizers announced the winners of the world’s largest lionfish tournament on Sunday afternoon at AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar.

The 2022 EOC winners have been announced:

MOST FISH COUNT PRICE
1.DWM1 1,623 $10,000
2. UFL 1,274 $6,000
3. ALL CHILDREN 938 $4,000
4. ALABAMA JAMMIN 793 $2,000
5. IN THE CLOUDS 771 $1,000
6. DOWN AND EXIT 698 $500
BIGGEST FISH CUT PRICE
1. BIG BLUE 436 millimeters $5,000
2. BLACK CAT DWM 431 millimeters $3,000
3. UFL 428 millimeters $2,000
4. LOWER RESULT 424 millimeters $1,000
5. ALABAMA JAMMIN 422 millimeters $750
6.DWM1 419 millimeters $500
SMALLEST FISH CUT PRICE
1. ALABAMA JAMMIN 39 millimeters $5,000
2. BIG BLUE 46 millimeters $3,000
3. DOWN AND EXIT 51 millimeters $2,000
4. LOOK BACK 52 millimeters $1,000
5.HONKY DORY 73 millimeters $750
6. UFL 74 millimeters $500

The divers made 11,253 throws in the two-day main tournament on May 13-14 and 2,574 in the pre-tournament.

2022 brought the biggest cash prize for teams, as well as a number of prizes for pre-tournament divers and event volunteers.

Learn more about lionfish:

Destin hosted a massive weekend full of invasive species information. The Harborwalk Village held a Lionfish and Libations event to eat the flaky whitefish on May 13.

Local marine experts and FWC employees held fish cutting demonstrations and information tables along the harbor throughout the weekend.

Several restaurants prepared lionfish dishes for tourists and locals.

The lionfish is not native to Flordia, imported from Asia around 1995.

The poisonous fish eat baby fish on local reefs, disrupting population growth in the Gulf of Mexico.

Lionfish hunters throughout the region are scuba divers who descend deep and kill fish with a perched spear.

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