The Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast always has something fun to experience and the 5th annual Lionfish Removal & Awareness Festival is one to add to the list!  Head down to the Destin Harbor on May 18th and 19th for this free event in conjunction with the Emerald Coast Open.  Not familiar with the invasive lionfish species? There is a high concentration of lionfish in our local water and the hope is to educate and control the population.  A spearfishing tournament like the Emerald Coast Open is a good way to keep the local lionfish population down and ensure that our marine eco-system stays healthy.   

Lionfish Infographic

The Festival is hosted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau and there will be activities for the whole family along the Destin Harbor.  Have you always wondered how to safely fillet a lionfish? Check out a demonstration! The Festival will feature family-friendly games, art, music, diving and conservation booths so be sure to get out and explore!  During the week leading up to the Festival, dine on delicious lionfish dishes during the Lionfish Restaurant Week.  Each evening, a local restaurant is featured with fresh lionfish on the menu to enjoy!

- May 10: Dewey Destin Harborside
- May 11: Boshamps Seafood & Oyster House
- May 12: Rockin Tacos
- May 13: Brotula's Seafood House & Steamer
- May 14: Jackacudas Seafood & Sushi
- May 15: Crab Trap - Destin
- May 16: AJ's Seafood & Oyster Bar

Interested in participating in the tournament? The pre-tournament is currently underway through May 15th with the final weigh-in dockside at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar on Destin Harbor May 16-19.  The entry fee is $100 per participant and more details can be found at