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Old 07-21-2010, 09:43 AM   #1
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Default Have you tasted Lionfish?

If you've never tasted lionfish, you're in the vast majority. But that may change. What are lionfish? They are beautiful exotic creatures that, unfortunately, are also an invasive species and lethal to indigenous critters. Somehow they managed to get a foothold along the coast of Florida (some say as a result of a mere six being released from an aquarium during a hurricane), and they have now spread to almost the entire lower eastern seaboard and most of the Caribbean.

Lionfish are non-aggressive towards humans, but they have numerous spines that are extremely poisonous. Which is why they have no natural predators in their new habitat. They propagate rapidly, and once they take over a region, they rapidly decimate indigenous reef fish and crustaceans.

No one has the answer yet on how to control the lionfish invasion, but dive masters are now actively hunting them. In many areas they are now being promoted as a delicacy, so as to create a demand in restaurants. On a recent dive trip to Roatan off Honduras, I saw dozens of lionfish during dives (I took the pic of the one below at about 80 feet). On one dive, the dive master speared one and the kitchen then filleted, breaded and fried it. I didn't taste it because I don't eat things I admire and photograph down there, but those who did said it was very tasty.

So don't be surprised to find lionfish pop up on menus of upscale eateries. In fact, given their detrimental impact, you should probably ask for it.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:19 PM   #2
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Nice picture! They're pretty looking. I love all different fish and would definitely try it if it comes to my area.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:55 PM   #3
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Promoting it as a delicacy is a brilliant way to control the invasive species. Maybe they can promote zebra mussels, too?
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:11 PM   #4
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That guy would look good on a bed of fettuccine with a little primavera sauce.
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