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Tree Huggers and Hunters Unite!...to Kill Lionfish

Tree Huggers and Hunters Unite!...to Kill Lionfish

A lionfish, nicely speared. Photo by Ty Sawyer.

Two years ago Guy Harvey Magazine reported on the massive lionfish invasion. Recently, this has become a magma hot story. Dan Rather did a report, scads of mags and newspapers are running myriad stories and Guy Harvey Magazine did a follow up story (http://www.guyharveymagazine.com/topics/conservation/conservation-projects/killing-conservation) with Guy’s and his team in Grand Cayman having a lionfish shoot out and cook off.  Yes, the fillets are quite tasty!

Unless you’ve been hiding inside your fish box for the past year, you’ve heard all about the lionfish epidemic. If not, the story goes like this: Lionfish, which are endemic to Indo-Pacific, have infested the Caribbean and Bahamian. With no natural predators in the Atlantic and Caribbean, they’ve spread like a bad rash, leaving a path of carnage in the wake. The apocalyptic fear is that they deplete the food fish normally eaten by snapper, grouper, and the like until we’ve got nothing but lionfish inhabiting the reef.

Now divers and fishermen are on a hunt and destroy mission. Give a hunter a gun (spear) and we can cause some damage. We’re that good. Can we wipe them out? Probably not but we can keep them in check according to Lad Adkins, former director of REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation), who has a video showing how to clean lionfish and a cookbook (link) with 45 lionfish recipes.

I never thought I say something like this but let’s all get out there and deplete the lionfish population! Yee ha! Tree huggers and hunters unite! We finally have a fish we can pursue with reckless abandon - all in the name of conservation. Life is just that weird sometimes.

Make sure you follow local hunting regulations before you go blasting away on sensitive reefs.

That's it from here. Enjoy!

To order the Lionfish Cookbook go to: http://www.reef.org/node/4167

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