The feared lionfish with its venomous dorsal fins has become a favorite delicacy in the Caribbean and the United States.
The Caribbean Coast has seen a ravaging expansion of the lionfish which can seriously threaten the marine ecosystem. The lionfish can eat up to 12 fish a night which, also leaves fishermen sorely out of luck on their fishing trips.
Experts have recommended that the best strategy to combat the rapid expansion of the lionfish is its consumption, according to newspaper El Heraldo.
Alberto Escolar, director of the Regional Autonomous Corporation of the Atlantic (CRA), said that while other countries find lionfishes an appetizing dish, the people in Colombia are not used to this kind of food.
“To get Colombians to eat this exotic species, we have to influence the consumption habit of the people in our region,” Escolar said. “They are not used to enjoying that sort of dishes as people are in other parts of the world.”
Different countries in the Caribbean have already encouraged the consumption of the lionfish in restaurants and at home. Even authorities and organizations, fighting to preserve the environment, have launched fishing tournaments in order to protect the marine life from the lionfish.
“The consumption of the lionfish is not toxic, because the poison is in the spines, that, once removed, are no danger,” researchers said.
Experienced cooks in the Bahamas prepare the lionfish in the oven with thai sauces, salads and coconut rice. Dishes can be quite spendy due to their exquisite taste and start at $15.