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Spearfishermen Smash Tournament Record, Remove Over 600 Lionfish In 2 Days

Team Forever Young broke its own record at a recent REEF lionfish derby in South Florida—a win for the conservation of local reef ecosystems

Four spearfishermen have outdone themselves at a recent lionfish removal derby in the waters off of Islamorada, Florida. The team, known as “Forever Young,” removed a whopping 648 lionfish in just two days. 

Team Forever Young is led by Captain Tony Young, who runs Forever Young Spearfishing, a charter company in the Florida Keys. At the recent Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) Derby, Young was joined by Jason Vogan, Billy Moscatello, and Luke Rankin. The derby ran from September 8 to 9. Team Forever Young took home first prize and set a new tournament record. The effort is not only an impressive feat—it’s also critical for native fish in the area. 

“These fish are invasive and have a devastating effect on the local reef ecosystem,” explained Young in an Instagram post. “Removing them in large numbers is both economically and ecologically important for the Florida Keys.”

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