Deadly. Beautiful. Devastating. While lionfish may be stunning to look at, this invasive species has been wreaking havoc among marine ecosystems such as coral reefs along Florida coasts since the 1990s. In Florida waters, lionfish have no predators and have been eating many native species of fish, causing great ecological damage, with some areas showing an 85-90% decrease in their native fish.
There is good news, however: lionfish spines are venomous, not poisonous. Meaning, once the spines are removed, the rest of the fish is completely edible – and quite delicious. Not only does eating lionfish help remove these pesky fish from Florida’s waters, but it also offers a sustainable fishing alternative.
By including lionfish in your diet, you’re promoting sustainable fishing which is a great way to help advance ocean conservation. Growing demand for seafood has led to fishing practices that are depleting populations of fish and other aquatic creatures. Together, we can make a difference by purchasing seafood from responsible, sustainable fisheries and by creating demand for lionfish by purchasing it directly from reputable sources.
To learn more, dissect and even taste* the alluring yet destructive lionfish, visit Orlando Science Center on June 8 for our celebration of World Oceans Day presented by SeaWorld Parks and Resorts! We’re going to celebrate our beautiful oceans and educate guests on ocean conservation through hands-on activities. Dive into The Hive: A Makerspace to create your own recycled tote bags and participate in our ocean quilling workshop. Learn more about climate change at Science on a Sphere, hear from community partners on conservation and more!
*Lionfish activities are available on a first come, first served basis. Limited quantities available.
This information was sourced from National Geographic and NOAA Fisheries