Lionfish, a poisonous tropical species, have been building in numbers off the North Carolina coast since the early nineties, and now threaten our commercial grouper and snapper stocks. The solution--eat the invaders! They supposedly taste like grouper, so lets have at it.
From the News and Observer:
There are so many lionfish off North Carolina already that scientists don't think it's possible to eliminate them, but hope there may be ways to at least control the population. The researchers are joining forces with sport divers and even culinary instructors from Carteret Community College to see if the critters can be kept in check with spears, nets and tartar sauce.
Lionfish, it turns out, have a sweet, white meat similar to the tasty groupers and snappers they are threatening.
Discovery Diving Co. in Beaufort and Olympus Dive Center in Morehead City are recruiting sport divers for a series of "lionfish rodeos" during the summer dive season, the first May 18-19. Later ones likely will also involve researchers and representatives of the culinary school, said Debby Boyce, owner of Discovery Dive Shop.
The scientists and divers hope to persuade restaurants in the area to start serving lionfish.
"They taste good, and if we can create a food market for them maybe that will not only help keep them in control but maybe take the pressure off some other species," Boyce said.