We've just completed the first ever Bimini Sands Lionfish Bash, and it was INCREDIBLE!!!
The Bimini Sands Lionfish Bash was set up as a fun, family spearfishing tournament that was aimed at helping Bimini's marine ecosystem by removing as many invasive Lionfish as possible. Not only that, but it was a charity event as well, with all profits from the tournament and related activities going to the Jackson Memorial Paramedical Trust in honor of our friend Woody Beckham.
With 13 boats entered in the Lionfish Bash tournament, we were able to remove a total of 318 lionfish from Bimini's waters in one day!
There were prizes going to the teams with the most lionfish caught, as well as the contestants who snatched up the biggest lionfish, the smallest lionfish, and the biggest lionfish for a Jr. angler.
Our Jr. angler winner was Kaylee Fantis, from the boat Extra Expense, who caught a lionfish weighing 12.65 oz.
The winner of the prize for Smallest Lionfish Caught was Charles Slick, from the boat Bloody Bill, who was able to grab a lionfish weighing just 0.05 oz.
The angler who brought back the Biggest Lionfish Caught was Jim Barley, from South Bimini's SharkLab, who hauled in a huge 31.30 oz lionfish.
Prizes were then awarded for the Most Lionfish Caught, and the second-most Lionfish Caught.
Our 2nd Place prize went to the Mills Family on the boat Extra Expense, who brought back an incredible 110 lionfish!
And the Grand Prize winners of the first annual Bimini Sands Lionfish Bash was the team from the SharkLab, who brought back a whopping 153 lionfish!!!
We finished the tournament with a fantastic awards dinner down at the Bimini Twist restaurant, where the honoree of the Lionfish Bash, Woody Beckham, thanked all of the incredible donors and sponsors who helped make this event such a wonderful success. In addition to slaying over 300 of the harmfully invasive lionfish, we were also able to raise over $15,000 for the Woody Foundation and their charity of choice, the Jackson Memorial Paramedical Trust.
A HUGE thank you goes out to all of the wonderful individuals and companies who sponsored this event and made it the enormous success that it was. Please support these generous people to thank them for their generosity:
Sir Galloway Cleaners
Bonefish Ebbie David
Bimini Healing Arts
A-Plus Marine Supply
Natalie's Bread - Bimini Craft Centre
Adventure Sports Miami
McNett Sea Drops
Titanic Restaurant & Brewery
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
And the Bimini Sands Resort & Marina
All in all, the Bimini Sands Lionfish Bash was a wonderfully fun and positive event, and we can't wait to do it again next year!!
The Government of the Bahamas has made a landmark decision in declaring a complete ban on any and all commercial shark fishing in Bahamian waters. This new legislation essentially creates a "shark sanctuary" that extends for more than 240,000 square miles throughout this island nation.
The shark regulations that were signed include:
· A prohibition on possessing, fishing for or landing shark or shark parts.
· A prohibition on the sale of shark, shark parts or shark products within The Bahamas or within the Exclusive Fishery Zone of The Bahamas.
· A prohibition on export or import of shark, shark parts or shark products.
· A research permit allowance: A person who wishes to fish for, have in his possession or export any shark or shark parts for educational, scientific or research purposes, shall apply to the Minister for a permit.
· A catch and release allowance: A person who hooks or catches a shark while fishing recreationally, shall release the same into the sea unharmed.
· An incidental catch allowance: A person may keep a shark if it is incidentally caught and used only for artisanal purposes.
Sharks are a crucial part of the marine ecosystem, and are largely responsible for the healthy reefs and fish populations still found throughout the Bahamas. Shark related tourism also brings almost $80 million to the Bahamian economy each year.
Bimini Sands Activities Director, Katie Grudecki, donated several photos to the Bahamas National Trust for their shark campaign, and we're thrilled to hear that the work of several people paid off in creating this important new set of laws for the Bahamas.
For more information about this new legislation, check out this link from the Nassau Guardian.
The first annual Bimini Sands Lionfish Bash is coming up this weekend!!!
There's still time to register your boat to enter this fun, exciting tournament. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, and stay tuned to the Bimini Sands Blog for more updates coming soon!