30 December 2010
Red lionfish are beautiful fish that are becoming quite a problem for Florida. Lionfish are an invasive species to the Atlantic Ocean. An invasive species is an animal or plant that is introduced to a new habitat and negatively affects it. Florida has many invasive species due to its warm tropical climate.
In the case of the lionfish, they are destroying the local fish, shrimp, and crab populations by eating so many of them. Since lionfish have no natural enemy in the Atlantic Ocean, the lionfish population is exploding. Everyone has been trying to find a way to get rid of these pesky fish.
A Key Largo based REEF conservation organization has created a lionfish cookbook to create a demand for these fish to be caught and sold at fish markets. Their slogan is “Eat ‘em to Beat ‘em” and its true! The faster we remove these fish the sooner the local biodiversity can return to what it was before the troublesome lionfish came to town.
Want to try it for yourself? Check out www.reef.org to buy the cookbook. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some of these delicious recipes in our local restaurants too!
Misty is an Animal Care Technician at the Science Center and is found in NatureWorks. Animals and Ecology are her passions and she jumps at every opportunity to talk about it. Stop in and say Hello!