Posted on December 03 2018
Since its first discovery off of the coast of Florida in 1985, the lionfish has been spreading and reproducing quickly while wreaking havoc on the reefs of the Caribbean. There is no harmonious balance for the lionfish in our beloved coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea. This invasive predator goes largely unchecked as most native predators do not recognize it as prey or its venomous spines deter those who might try. Lionfish eat many reef fish species which are needed to keep coral reefs healthy and they can outcompete snapper and grouper for resources.
So what can you do? Lionfish were a trend in the pet trade for many years and was likely the introduction pathway. Never release a non-native species into the wild.
If you find lionfish on the menu at a restaurant or in a local fish market, buy it. Although the spines are venomous when it is alive, the spines are cut off after harvest and it is a myth that any part of the fish is harmful after that. It is one of the most delicious fish available, one of the cheapest, and is often compared to hogfish in light buttery flavor.
With thanks @fridgizzle 🐚🐟🐠🐬🐳🐋