Lionfish once called the South Pacific and Indian Oceans their home, however for an unknown reason they washed up on Caribbean and Florida coasts roughly 30 years ago. Since then, they have taken over the shores, being described as ‘a plague of locusts’ on their environment.
Why is this the case? Well, Lionfish are prolific breeders and have since multiplied rapidly with the help of being poisonous and having no known predator to curb their numbers. Lionfish also have an incredibly large appetite and will eat just about anything which is detrimental to surrounding marine life. Fisherman in the Bahamas are concerned about their livelihood as by devouring indigenous fish could transform the entire ecosystem.
With numbers escalating so quickly, Lionfish is being placed on menus to help combat the invasion. Restuarant Pot Roast & Pinot in Florida has found a way to bring this tasty fish to American plates and partner with licensed harvesters who can capture hundreds of pounds of Lionfish.
Lionfish are reported to produce flaky, buttery filets – sounds good right? But care needs to be taken when preparing the fish due to their long spines and venom glands but don’t worry, this won’t spoil the meat. Marine scientists and food safety experts say ‘yes’ to eating them, but just be smart about it!
If you want to try this delicacy, it is now available in the Caribbean and restaurants in Florida. It is hard to find elsewhere but hey, any excuse for a holiday!