CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Aquarium will host its inaugural JuLionfish Derby and Festival in July.

The JuLionfish Derby and Festival is a month-long event that aims to manage South Carolina’s Lionfish population and improve reef research.

A Lionfish Derby is a competition between divers to remove as many invasive lion ships as possible from reefs. This will be the first Lionfish derby in South Carolina.

According to the South Carolina Aquarium, Red Lionfish are an invasive species to the Atlantic Ocean. The fish has no natural perditions leading the species to reproduce at an alarming rate. Lionfish have a large appetite and prey on native fish, which risks the natural balance of the ocean.

The South Carolina Aquarium will hold its first derby, JuLionfish Derby and Festival, from July 1 through July 28. Those interested in participating in the event can register here.

A festival will be held on July 29 to celebrate the July Lionfish culling competition. The festival is 21 and up and will feature awards, lionfish experiences, a silent auction, and refreshments. Tickets can be purchased online here.

The event will raise awareness of the fish’ impact and will help converse the state’s ocean ecosystem.

For more information on the event, visit scaquarium.org/JuLionfish