Helping Stem the Tide of Invasive Species


As a result of human error, a few non-native lionfish slipped into Atlantic waters off the coast of Florida in the 1980’s. In less than 40 years, the invasive lionfish has taken over from Boston to Barcelona to Brazil, completely wiping out coral reef systems and native fish populations. The voracious and fast reproducing lionfish can eat up to 70,000 native fish in its lifetime, with female lionfish laying up to 6M eggs in a year. Arguably the lionfish is one of the most destructive and invasive species that are present in the Atlantic Seaboard and Gulf regions.



To help stem the tide of this invasive species, a number of lionfish tournaments have been organized, one of the largest being the Emerald Coast Open (ECO), now in its 4th year and takes place in Destin FL, May 19-21st. With 144 divers participating in the 2023 ECO, they caught a staggering 24,699 lionfish, beating last year’s record haul of 13,835. ECO significantly helps remove invasive lionfish from the surrounding Gulf waters and reduce the destructive impact of this invasive fish.



Grundéns was excited to partner with this year's ECO and launch our new Lionfish Sandal, awarded to the winners of different categories who participated in this year's ECO. A premium, full-grain leather sandal which incorporates a panel of INVERSA’s Invasive™ Leather made from lionfish skin, harvested by local fisherman including those who participated in this year's ECO. Each Lionfish sandal contributes to saving 25,000 native fish species.