Indigenous to Indo-Pacific waters, Lionfish have invaded the Atlantic, crossed the Gulf of Mexico and spread throughout the Caribbean. With their graceful fins and venomous spines they are both beautiful and tough, they can be found in waters from the surface down to a depth of 1000 feet, have no natural predators and are voracious hunters particularly liking the young of snapper and grouper.
Eat Lionfish and be a Marine Conservationist!
Although I am constantly being reminded to not eat seafood, now there is light at the end of the speargun. I can enjoy my guilty pleasure and also do a positive thing for marine conservation. Eat Lionfish!!! We just returned from a Caribbean vacation where it has been open war on Lionfish for several years. The tasty, flaky and firm fish are sometimes featured as specials on the menus of local restaurants, where demand always exceeds supply.
Lionfish Traps from NOAA
Up to this point it has been up to divers to hunt Lionfish, with limited results, but now NOAA and its partners have developed designs for Lionfish traps.This could be a breakthrough in our attempt to control the invasive species and develop a potentially lucrative fishery. This new trap design has several benefits over conventional traps they do not use bait (that might attract non-targeted fish) and are easily transported. Read all about NOAA’s new trap in Going Deep for Lionfish. Or if you have questions regarding Lionfish go to NOAA’s Lionfish “Ask Us Anything” (photo – the Frapper.com)
One place where they seem to have a surfeit of Lionfish is Destin, Florida where they have turned it into a sporting event. Their video gives you an idea of both the problem with the outrageous numbers of invasive Lionfish but also the potential for a bountiful harvest.
More amazing video from National geographic
The Lionfish threat should not to be underestimated because they can render a vibrant coral reef into a barren wasteland in a matter of weeks. They might not be the size of sharks but they are considered “apex predators” they have no enemies, rapidly breed, are adaptable and resilient. Maybe the solution is to go High Tech with this from CNN World:
Can Killer Robots Save Ocean Ecosystems
The idea for a killer robot came to iRobot CEO Colin Angleon when he learned about the extent of the damage caused by lionfish on a diving trip in Bermuda. The idea grew into the non-profit company “Robots in Service of the Environment (RISE).” with a design that combines a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV), using technology which iRobot had developed for the automatic vacuum cleaner Roomba, and a separate electrocution device. “It will be a tethered device with a control mechanism that you drop into the water,” he says. “You drive the ROV until you see the fish — a lot of the technology is in the cameras — then you drive the ROV onto the fish and press the trigger.” See Interview at New Atlas: How to build a lionfish- killing robot (photo – Ocean Support Foundation)
How to Flambe a Lionfish: The Lionfish Cookbook
The second edition of The Lionfish Cookbook by Tricia Ferguson and Lad Akins features 45 tantalizing recipes, plus vital information on how to catch and prepare the fish (avoid the spines). In addition to the recipes created by chefs from throughout the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Western Atlantic there is background on the impact of the invasive invasion on indigenous marine life and the efforts to control its spread.
See our related post on Leonardo DiCaprio’s purchase of a Farmed Fish company, is farming seafood the answer to diminished fish stocks?? See: DiCaprio Finds Ocean Conservation in Farmed Seafood
How To Get More Ocean-Hearted Intel Delivered To Your Inbox!
We believe ocean lovers can change the world. If you care about the health of the ocean and want to do something about it, then connect with the Blue Ocean tribe: Our growing community of ocean change-makers is turning ocean lovers into ocean leaders. It starts with you. Join us!
See These Related Blue Ocean Posts: