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Lionfish for Dinner

To combat the invasive lionfish, the U.S. government promotes eating it for dinner.

Posted: December 17, 2010, 12 p.m. EDT

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Pterois lionfish
In addition to pet stores, you may soon find lionfish on dinner plates in restaraunts.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is campaigning for a new way to combat growing populations of lionfish that have invaded the waters off the East Coast of the United States and the Caribbean. This new idea involves putting the lionfish onto people’s dinner plates.

The number of lionfish is growing in these areas because they have no predators (due to their venomous spines). But this fish is not a dangerous food for humans. The venom is only in its spines, which can easily be cut away, and the meat can be safely prepared. The only problem the Administration is having is getting people to see past the fact that it is a popular pet kept in aquariums.

If lionfish are popularized in restaurants, it would be good news for fishers. Bahamian fishermen currently get about $12 a pound (compared with $3 to $5 for snapper). To help the native wildlife in this area, you could eat the lionfish — or you could just keep one in your tank.

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CaveCarp    Springfield, IL

11/2/2012 7:27:06 AM

I fear that if humans get a good taste for lionfish,big business will use this for huge profits, and then you'll see lionfish on the endangered species list.

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