• If You Can’t Beat Them, Eat ’em

    Posted on January 23rd, 2011 Chris Knight No comments

    In less than a decades time, Indo-Pacific lionfish have established what appear to be permanent populations along the southeast U.S. coast and into the Caribbean. With population densities in some spots ranging to 1000 fish per acre, these veracious eaters are quickly decimating local fish populations as they start to range towards the Gulf of Mexico and South America. Efforts so far to reign in this dangerous invasive have met with little  success but now scientists at NOAA, along with numerous non-profits and local island governments, have come up with a new plan…eat them.

    Using a variety of marketing strategies that includes cash prizes for most lionfish caught in one year on Grenada, the hope is to turn lionfish into a desirable food-fish with no limits catches being the goal.

    The supporters of the effort say that lionfish tastes like grouper or snapper, two highly sought after species. That sounds like good eats to me. If that’s the case, then hopefully this is the recipe that turns the tables on this tropical invasion. I think the effort bears watching and all puns intended, it’s an interesting and unorthodox piece in invasive species puzzle that up until now has challenged fisheries managers.  We’ll see.

    NOAA “Eat Lionfish” pullcard

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