Lionfish: It’s What’s For Dinner

Boys, meet the enemy.

I didn’t know that being a good environmentalist sometimes meant eating tasty threats to the environment of other native species. In fact, I may have to rethink the whole sham after all.

Take for example, the lionfish. Not an appetizing thing by itself, but cut the prickly parts off and sautee it in a half pound of butter and voila!

Tasty butterfish!

Lionfish may have possibly been released into the Florida Keys area during Hurricane Andrew when a local marina broke open and let several out to sea. Or it may not have.

Either way, what we do know is that they are a nuisance. And they’re tasty. Oh, and this:

In its native waters of the South Pacific and Indian Ocean, the lionfish lives in a benign balance with the rest of the food chain. But in the Atlantic and Caribbean, where it has been proliferating madly since the early 1990s, the lionfish has no controlling predators. Not even goliath groupers or sharks have developed a taste for them. A lionfish can begin reproducing in the first year of its life and can spawn more than 2 million eggs a year. From birth, the lionfish eats ravenously, its diet made up of the juveniles of key species that help maintain and promote the equilibrium of the reef—snapper, hogfish, parrotfish, banded coral shrimp…. researchers estimate that one-quarter of the fish would have to be killed each month to slow their growth.

It looks like we’ve all got some cookin- err, work to do.

Get to it.

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