BE ADVISED THAT THIS IS A WAIVER WHICH MEANS YOU WILL BE GIVING UP ALL LEGAL RIGHTS CONCERNING ANY COURSE OF ACTION AGAINST EMERALD COAST OPEN (ECO), GULF COAST LIONFISH TOURNAMENTS, LLC (GCLT) - THEIR AGENTS, VOLUNTEERS, CORPORATE REPRESENTATIVES AND ALL INDIVIDUALS AFFILIATED WITH GCLT - BY SIGNING THIS DOCUMENT. IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND YOUR LEGAL POSITION BY SIGNING THIS DOCUMENT, YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY. YOUR SIGNATURE AT THE BOTTOM INDICATES AGREEMENT WITH ALL OF THE ITEMS. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH ALL OF THE ITEMS (PARAGRAPHS), DO NOT SIGN THE BOTTOM. PARTICIPATION IN THE EMERALD COAST OPEN LIONFISH TOURNAMENT IS CONDITIONED UPON YOUR EXECUTION OF THIS WAIVER. IF YOU DO NOT SIGN THIS WAIVER, YOU ARE NOT A PARTICIPANT IN THE EMERALD COAST OPEN LIONFISH TOURNAMENT.
1. EMERALD COAST OPEN: Although the tournament is run by Gulf Coast Lionfish Tournaments, LLC, in the context of this document, Emerald Coast Open shall mean the directors, members, volunteers, officers, advisors of GCLT, and all owners of property where the tournament is headquartered, where the official counting occurs, and all related acts.
2. Diving: In the context of this document, diving shall mean free diving, snorkel diving, scuba diving, spear fishing, netting (or otherwise using any methods allowed under the rules) to harvest Lionfish while in or on the water.
3. In the context of this document, the word “I” shall mean me, my heirs, survivors, assigns, representatives, estate, legal guardian, attorneys in fact, or anyone else who may be empowered to act on my behalf. Or, if I am signing as the legal guardian of a registrant, then it shall mean my ward, me, my ward’s heirs, survivors, assigns,
representatives, estate, attorneys in fact, legal guardian, and anyone else who may act on behalf of my ward, principal, or minor.
I understand the inherent risks associated with diving. When harvesting fish, I understand that the risk of injury or death is even greater. I have read the tournament rules and agree to comply with them completely and waive my rights as to this activity against GCLT or Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Tournament.
I understand that weather conditions may change rapidly, and that Emerald Coast Open is not responsible for my decision to participate in this event. Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Tournament‘s decision to NOT cancel the tournament does not act as an endorsement of good weather or marine conditions. I will determine these conditions myself and assume all risks inherent with weather conditions.
I acknowledge that Lionfish have venomous spines that can inflict a serious sting and/or cause serious injury or death. I will wear protective gloves when handling Lionfish, and make every effort not to touch the spines, even after the fish are dead. I accept full responsibility for my handling of Lionfish and for all risks associated with this inherently dangerous activity.
I hereby acknowledge that Emerald Coast Open lionfish tournament is in no way directing my activities, or otherwise acting as an advisor or principal. I assume all risks, not only associated with diving and harvesting Lionfish, but also boating and traveling.
I hereby acknowledge that not only can injuries and/or death occur from the risks of diving, but that diving is physically exerting. I agree that I am responsible for making decisions about my own physical condition in conducting these activities.
I hereby agree to waive my right to sue Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Tournament, GCLT, any of its affiliates, venue sponsors, assigned associates, or sponsors by participating in the Emerald Coast Open lionfish tournament, for any injuries, death, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and all other forms of economic and noneconomic damages and all claims and causes of action. I waive any and all claims. I will hold Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Tournament and GCLT harmless from any claims brought on my behalf and agree to indemnify them in case of any claim made against them. Also, I hereby provide a full release for photo and television images.
I hereby acknowledge that in the event of any dispute pertaining to any activity associated with or arising out of the Emerald Coast Open lionfish tournament, that the laws of State of Florida shall apply and any dispute shall be in the court closest to the incident that has jurisdiction of this matter within Escambia County. Further acknowledge that in any event of a dispute, the prevailing party shall be entitled to attorney’s fees and costs as awarded by any Florida court.
I hereby acknowledge that the official counting and awards setting is at AJ's Seafood & Oyster Bar – Destin, FL. and that there may be dangers or other hazards associated with these setting, as well as with a tournament that involves spear fishing and harvesting of Lionfish. I will watch my children, if applicable, and understand all hazards and take full responsibility for my children. I agree to read and follow all of the published rules of the tournament.
I hereby acknowledge that GCLT and Emerald Coast Open lionfish tournament is not a reseller of any prizes donated to the tournament. GCLT and Emerald Coast Open lionfish tournament is merely a temporary custodian of said prizes and is not responsible for any grievance or claim I may have with respect to a prize. There are no refunds of fees or purchases. Participants are responsible for any taxable responsibilities that may arise from prize awards.
Lionfish Biology and Venemology Understanding of Risk
Lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) are members of the scorpionfish family native to the Indo-Pacific. They are now also found in the waters throughout the Western Atlantic from Rhode Island through the Bahamas Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Lionfish are predators reaching a size of more than 470 mm and reproducing year-round in the southern portion of their Atlantic range. They also posses venomous, spines and potentially represent both ecological and human health risks. Significant study, public education/outreach and control efforts are now being planned and implemented throughout the region.
Need for specimens
In order to predict the spread and impact of this invasive species, data is needed to determine populations and distribution, age and growth, reproduction, predation, larval disbursement, recruitment, mortality, genetics and changes to native fish communities. Obtaining this information requires the collection of many samples and appropriate preservation of these samples. There is little funding and few field operations available to collect the number of samples required for statistically robust analysis. GCLT and Emerald Coast Open is working with U.S. state, federal, and university researchers in addition to Caribbean nations to obtain the necessary samples as well as educate the public and key government officials about the lionfish issue. As part of this effort, we are also collaborating with the dive community to gather samples and data from their regularly dived sites.
Lionfish spines, like those of many other scorpion fish, contain venom. Spines located within the dorsal, ventral, and anal fins contain venomous tissue along the length of the spine. A sheath or skin covers the spine and glandular tissue which, when exposed in the act of puncture, releases venom into the wound. Severities and reactions to stings can vary however lionfish stings are not known to bead lethal. Reactions to venom typically include localized, moderate to severe, pain and swelling, which normally subsides within hours and with first-aid treatment. Complications or increased severity of reactions could result from allergic reactions or severe punctures. Heat and time reduce the effect of this venom. As with any wound, cleaning and sterilization of the affected area is important to prevent infection.
While the likelihood of coming in contact with a lionfish in the water or on the vessel is extremely small for those wanting to avoid contact, there never-the-less exists the possibility of being stung. No participants wishing to avoid collection, dissection or any other physical contact with lionfish will be asked to handle or in any other way physically engage themselves with any lionfish. All contact with lionfish, direct or otherwise, is voluntary in nature as is participation in this project, knowing the venomous nature of the subject.
I understand these risks and am willing to take part in this project anyway.
I also agree that I have received and read the rules for this tournament and agree to abide by the rules for participation in this event.
I, the undersigned, agree to the terms above.