The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary has announced the dates for three more Lionfish Derbies this summer to help rid the marine environment of the spread of the invasive species. During last year’s events in the waters off the coast of Florida, nearly 700 lionfish were caught by scuba divers. This year, the tournament will provide divers with a chance to win more than $10,000 (£6,038.08) in cash for their efforts. Prizes will be given for the most caught, as well as the largest and smallest lionfish. The Lionfish Derbies, presented in conjunction with the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), allow scuba divers to search the local waters for lionfish, which are quickly leading to the destruction of the local eco-systems. Scientists fear the impacts of lionfish in South Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico waters, and their lack of a natural predator in the Atlantic. The lionfish is known to feed on ecologically and commercially important fish species. This could disrupt the balance of the coral reef ecosystem which supports the tourism and fishing industries of the Keys.