The 5th Lionfish Removal Derby was held on the 4th of October 2020, in Famagusta, at the areas of Green Bay, Kaliva, Ancient harbour, Cyclopes and Ayioi Anargyroi Chapel dive site. A total of 48 divers of the project’s “Removal Action Teams” participated at the removal event. They formed 20 teams (13 scuba diving teams with 34 divers and 7 free diving teams with 14 divers) and altogether were able to remove 388 lionfish from the derby area. Divers won prizes for the biggest lionfish, the smallest lionfish and the most lionfish removed. A big thanks to the “RATs” for participating in one more “RELIONMED” derby, helping this way to minimise the lionfish populations in the Cape Greco area.
We were, furthermore, happy to see that during questions asked about the lionfish by tourists, the “RATs” members got involved initiating informative conversations with them. “RELIONMED’s” partners participated in the discussions to add more detailed information about the lionfish, its uses, reporting lionfish sightings and first aid. The tourists were extremely interested in what was being explained, about the actions taken for removing lionfish and for being able to use lionfish for consumption and for creating beautiful lionfish jewelleries from its fins. In addition, we thank the “RATs” for supporting the project by disseminating posters, leaflets and stickers about the “RELIONMED”, the lionfish and the “IUCN-MedMIS” application through their dive centers so that more people can get informed.
We also thank the “Octo Microbrewery” for once again participating at the event and for offering free beer for everyone. In addition, as of this derby, a no plastic policy was initiated by the “Marine & Environmental Research (MER) Lab” using coolers for water and paper cups instead of bottles of water and plastic cups.
We thank you all for the support! Keep helping the environment, the seas of Cyprus and the socio-economy of the area!