Lionfish: The Other White Meat

The Lionfish are invading! No, it’s not the tag line from a bad sci-fi movie, it’s what scientists around the Caribbean have been saying for years. The Lionfish invasion is so destructive because they eat everything in sight and have very few predators, leaving only humans to control their populations. The only hope of reducing the number of lionfish is to create a demand for them at the dinner table.

Most of the world’s edible fish species are severely overfished. Lionfish is the perfect way to still enjoy fish while avoiding the guilt associated with eating species such as grouper, snapper, and other reef fish. Though lionfish are venomous, the toxin is in the spines, not the meat. If stabbed, the venom is not fatal but will cause pain and swelling near the wound. There are several methods to safely filet a lionfish. The easiest technique is to cut off the dorsal and pectoral spines using scissors. Once the spines are removed, lionfish can be safely and easily prepared like any other fish. Another way is to freeze the entire fish for 2 hours to neutralize the venomous spines.

Lionfish are tasty, with white, delicate, and flakey meat. They are a perfect substitute for grouper and are a completely sustainable and guilt-free fish to eat. There are even Lionfish cookbooks, containing recipes to use the meat in every conceivable way. Most of the recipes can also be found free online. Perhaps the most tasty and popular dish is lionfish ceviche. Other popular ways to cook lionfish include sautéing with garlic and butter or frying. Some people even use it in sushi. So do your part to protect Roatan’s reef by eating lionfish.

The Roatan Marine Park has created a television and radio public service announcement to inform people about the benefits of eating lionfish and how to safely clean them. We will also be visiting the local communities to perform demonstrations on how to cook and clean lionfish.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Responses to “Lionfish: The Other White Meat”

  1. Monique Says:

    Hi , i ‘m french , i live in mahoghany bay , entrada McLaughlin ( Blueseas) just in front of coral key ,, and yesterday i saw i snorkeling à big lion fish but I don’t have possiblity to kill it , could you send somebody ?

  2. Elaine AbuSharbain Says:

    Great work, very impressive. Do you have a flyer about eating Lionfish – the other white meat?
    I would like to post it in the united states for edcuational purposes here.

    In our Mississippi river we are trying to promote the Asian carp for people to eat because it is invasive in the river.

    Thanks, Elaine

  3. Jodi Says:

    Hi. I live in a landlocked state and am unable to travel. Are there places to order lionfish meat online?

  4. Jae Says:

    I am in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon) and would like to offer Lion Fish as an alternative for my family and friends. Are their any supplier lists?

    Thank you,

  5. SD Says:

    My biologist friend here in Belize where we are both are working on the lionfish invasion, says the ONLY way to de-tox lionfish is by heat. I saw the infamous youtube video where the guy who uses a ice-salt brine prick himself and seems fine. I wonder if the toxin is only temporary neutralized. My biologist friend did not know that for sure but was infatic that heat is the only way to de-tox. I wonder where you got your source? Or if you experimented yourself.

    The the Oregonian: Check with Dave in Min for lionfish (he was on shark tank). He’s a distributor but as of now there simply are not enough catchers (because it takes spearers underwater) to catch them. There are some commercial lobster fisherman who are catching it as byproduct in their cages but ALL that lionfish is sold to FL restaurants because it is so good and they sell as much as they get. Several countries are looking at more cost-effective solutions to catch the lionfish but until then it is hard to come by.

  6. nicbach Says:

    Once you have been stung, hot water the is the only thing you can use to break down the toxic and neutralize the venom. If you fail it apply hot water, the swelling can be much worse and the length of pain can last several hours longer than if treated with hot water. Using below zero water to store the fish and prevent the spines stinging you when handling may work, but I am unsure whether this is due to the venom gland freezing and being unable to inject the venom, or whether it breaks down the toxin. I stung myself with a lionfish this way and barely felt anything, but then again I have been stung by large, live fish before and had no swelling or pain.

  7. This Web site Says:

    This Web site…

    Roatan Marine Park » lionfish…

Leave a Reply