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Yamaha Rightwaters™ Lends Support to 6th Annual Emerald Coast Open

Posted 5/22/2024

DESTIN, Fla. – May 22, 2024 – During the 2024 Emerald Coast Open, 147 competing divers removed 11,844 invasive lionfish from Florida waters stretching from the Atlantic coast to the Gulf. With support from Yamaha Rightwaters as well as many local businesses, The Florida Wildlife Commission and other conservation-minded organizations, the event managed a respectable performance in lionfish removal despite difficult weather in parts of the Gulf of Mexico.

The challenging conditions led some participants to focus their efforts on the Atlantic coast, a region with a typically lower lionfish population. In addition to some long-range fish additions this year, anglers broke the record for the largest lionfish harvested in Florida, which measured 75 millimeters (approximately 18.7 inches).

“Mitigating the threat aquatic invasive species of all sizes pose to marine environments across the world is one of the missions of Yamaha Rightwaters,” said Joshua Grier, Sustainability Program Manager, Yamaha U.S. Marine Business Unit. “The Emerald Coast Open brings together people from all over the state for a singular mission: helping to create healthy marine environments and ensuring their continuation for future generations to enjoy. Yamaha Rightwaters applauds the determination of the divers, organizers and captains to make the event a success in spite of challenging conditions this year.”

Lionfish prey on more than 167 different native fish species and can reduce some reef fish populations by up to 90 percent. They are capable of eating fish 2/3 their size and one lionfish can consume roughly 20 fish in a half hour.

"This tournament always seems to adapt to the situation. This year's weather in Destin-Fort Walton Beach was not favorable, but that opened the door for teams to participate in other parts of the state, and the event removed more than 7,400 fish in two days. It's encouraging to see more divers getting involved in the Emerald Coast Open. While we didn't remove a record number of fish, we did pay out a record amount of prizes,” said Alex Fogg, Coastal Resource Manager, Destin – Fort Walton Beach and Emerald Coast Open Organizer. “The support and aligned conservation vision we share with Yamaha Rightwaters is one that significantly benefits the environment as well as the community.”

To learn more about the Emerald Coast Open, visit
Yamaha Rightwaters is a national sustainability program that encompasses all of Yamaha Marine’s conservation and water quality efforts. Program initiatives include habitat restoration, support for scientific research, mitigation of invasive species, the reduction of marine debris and environmental stewardship education. Yamaha Rightwaters reinforces Yamaha’s long-standing history of natural resource conservation, support of sustainable recreational fishing and water resources and Angler Code of Ethics, which requires pro anglers to adhere to principles of stewardship for all marine resources.

Yamaha’s U.S. Marine Business Unit, based in Kennesaw, Ga., is responsible for the sales, marketing, and distribution of Yamaha Marine products in the U.S. including Yamaha Outboards, Yamaha WaveRunners®, Yamaha Boats, G3® Boats and Skeeter® Boats. Supporting 2,400 dealers and boat builders nationwide, Yamaha is the industry leader in reliability, performance, technology and customer service.

REMEMBER to always observe all applicable boating laws. Never drink and drive. Dress properly with a USCG-approved personal floatation device and protective gear. 

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