May 17 2023
Saving our Planet, One Lionfish at a Time with Alex Fogg
How can you help our planet? EAT A LIONFISH!
I interviewed Alex Fogg, THE FISH GUY, who I first met at the DEMA Dive Conference when he was a speaker about LIONFISH, an invasive species in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
Alex is a marine biologist who is part of the team at Destin-Fort Walton Beach. In fact, he is one of four marine biologists on the tourism team unlike any other tourism team I am aware of. Many people talk about over-tourism and over-fishing but what do they do about it? On the Emerald Coast, they have hired top professionals like Alex to focus on protecting their reefs for fishing and scuba diving both of which I did on my first trip here May 15-18, 2023 ahead of the Emerald Coast Open.
They call Destin--the "Luckiest Fishing Village" due to its prime location, rich marine environment, and warm waters of the Gulf which support a wide variety of fish species, including red snapper, grouper, amberjack, mahi-mahi, and tuna. Several of which I caught on my very first ever fishing trip with the amazing Captain Gaby of Lady Luck Adventures! I highly recommend going out with her to experience the thrill of the catch and see the gorgeous emerald green and turquoise crystal clear waters. We saw dolphins, the pristine white sand beaches and the thriving fishing industry makes it a favored destination for anglers.
However, I would call it the smartest fishing village since they hired Alex and have focused on sustaining and supporting the waters with their many projects including local advice by mom chat, artificial reef deployments several of which I saw installed today, Lionfish restaurant week and the incredible Emerald Coast Open happening this weekend.
How can you help our planet? CATCH A LIONFISH!
The Destin Fort Walton Lionfish Emerald Coast Open (ECO) is the largest lionfish tournament in the world! In 2019, ECO had 189 participants and removed 19,167 lionfish throughout the tournament – 14,119 in 3 days! ECO gave away $48,000 in cash prizes, and over $10,000 in gear prizes. We are looking forward to an exciting 2023 tournament!
Join marine enthusiasts and conservationists this weekend May 19-21.
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