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In yesterday’s post I commented below one of the pics that I was taking a shot at a lionfish while spear fishing. This fish, considered an invasive species in the Bahamas, has an interesting story. The marine biologist who gave us a tour back on Lee Stocking Island told us how it is believed that the fish, native to the Pacific and Indian Oceans, found their way into these waters from domestic fish tanks which spilled over during Hurricane Andrew. Although beautiful, these fish have very few, if any, natural predators here and thus could be a risk to the indigenous species of the Bahamas. For this reason, spear fishers are encouraged to take as many of these fish as they can. We have even read about organized derbies/contests which focus on their capture.

We have yet to try lionfish but its meat is reported to be very tasty. The fish have venomous spines but once they are removed, they can be cleaned as any other fish. The following video describes how to safely handle and clean the lionfish.

Making Lionfish Safe to Prepare from Marine Resources on Vimeo.

Want to know more about lionfish? Check out this well-written FAQ.

8 Comments

  1. Hey Mike and Rebecca,

    I know ya’ll are TRX fans, thought I’d let you know they just dropped a new product:

    http://www.trxtraining.com/connect/blog/2011/03/17/a-new-star-joins-the-trx-lineup-meet-the-trx-rip-trainer/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=riptrainingcpc

    Anyways, love the blog, I read every day.

    Later,
    Chuck

    • Hey Chuck

      We must be out of the loop as we hadn’t heard of that. I can’t get the video on that page to load right now but I’ll check it out later. Thanks.

  2. Hi guys,

    Have been enjoying your travels. Tim’s sister told us she met you guys in Georgetown (tee and gus from Nino). They are in Puerto Rico now and heading south.

    We spearfished some lionfish last year when we were in the Bahamas and they do taste very good. We are in Roatan now and they just had a tournament to see who could catch the most in one day. The 2 person team that won caught 177 in one day. They then had a lionfish cookoff for the best lionfish dish. Don’t think they will ever get rid of them.

    We are diving here and we see them on almost every dive. The divemasters spear them and feed them to the grouper and other fish so hopefully they will start eating them on their own.

    Enjoy yourselves.

    Dianne and Tim

    • Hi guys

      Yes, we met the Nino crew and they obviously did a much better job of escaping Georgetown than we did if they are now in PR. Hopefully we’ll be able to make some good ground in the next couple of weeks.

      177 lionfish in one day? WOW!!!!

      Amazing that they are feeding them to the grouper. I would never have thought of that. I wonder if it will work.

  3. Over fishing has distorted the predator-prey balance int he Chesapeake to where fishing for stingrays (cownose rays) is now suggested (http://hamptonroads.com/2010/07/would-you-eat-cownose-ray-virginia-hopes-so). Though I have hooked them before, I have generally avoided them and always released them. Now that I hear we can target them and that they are tasty…. It’s getting them on the boat that puzzles me.

    I wonder if a pole spear would work better?

  4. Hi guys! My wife Sarah and I are hopefully only a few months away from throwing the dock lines off on our Lagoon 380, Mirador. We’ve been following your site and enjoy it quite a bit. Not to rain on your parade, but ciguatera toxin has been found in lion fish. One sample in the USVI revealed 60% contamination of the fish tested. I’m sure you guys are aware of ciguatera’s dangers. Be careful!

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