Experts Say We Should Eat Lionfish

Written by on February 28, 2013 in Fish, Marine Life

Lionfish. Photo credit: Michael Aston via photopin cc

The lionfish (Pterois miles and P. volitans) is native to the Indo-Pacific but in less than a decade has flooded the waters of along the Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean.

Lionfish are a popular aquarium fish and probably ended up in Caribbean waters after being “released” by previous owners who no longer wanted them. As an invasive species, they don’t belong in these waters. Here, they don’t have any natural predators so their population has exploded. They compete for resources with commercially important species like grouper and snapper and they have the ability to permanently change the native reef communities.

In order to control the lionfish population, many organizations have hosted lionfish tournaments with prizes given to those who catch the most of them. Another popular method of population control is to put lionfish on menus! In 2010, REEF Environmental Education Foundation published a Lionfish Cookbook that teaches people how to properly catch and prepare the fish and includes tons of delicious recipes.

CBS This Morning recently hosted a marine biologist who discusses the invasive lionfish and how to eat them. Check it out:

To learn more, check out some of these links:

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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