Are Lionfish Safe to Eat? How You Can Help Advance Ocean Conservation

Are lionfish safe to eat? If they are, why should we have lionfish for lunch?

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.

 

The good news is you can help by having a snack! You probably won't see them on the menu at many seafood restaurants, so you may be wondering "Are lionfish safe to eat?" The answer is yes! 

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.

 

This information was sourced from National Geographic and NOAA Fisheries

How to be a Conservation Hero! 

Did you know oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth's surface and contain 97 percent of the Earth's water? Although many of us, especially in Florida, think of the oceans as a place to relax and soak up the sun – they are also vital to life on Earth and home to an estimated one million species. It is our duty to help conserve and protect our oceans, and the marine life that inhabit them.

 

There are many ways you can help protect the oceans and marine life. Check out these six ways you can practice ocean-friendly habits and help save our oceans. 

World Oceans Day

Calling all ocean lovers! You’re invited to dive into Orlando Science Center’s World Oceans Day celebration presented by SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando.

Community partners will educate guests on ocean conservation and inspire them to create a better future. Look forward to special ocean programming throughout the building during the event and learn how we can protect and nurture our shared ocean!

Six Ways to Practice Ocean Conservation

Celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8!

Did you know oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth's surface and contain 97 percent of the Earth's water? Although many of us, especially in Florida, think of the oceans as a place to relax and soak up the sun – they are also vital to life on Earth and home to an estimated one million species. It is our duty to help conserve and protect our oceans, and the marine life that inhabit them.

In celebration of World Oceans Day on June 8, we've compiled the top six ways you can practice ocean-friendly habits and help protect our oceans. Be sure to dive into Orlando Science Center on June 8 for our World Oceans Day celebration to learn more about ocean conservation, dissect a Lionfish, create recycled tote bags and more!

Here are Six Ways You Can Practice Ocean Conservation

  1. Use Less Plastic – Plastics that end up in the oceans, pollute and kill tens of thousands of marine animals every year. While single-use plastics create unnecessary waste, sustainable alternatives do exist. Instead of using plastic bags at the grocery store, bring a few tote bags to haul your goods. Using reusable water bottles, straws, and utensils are also great ways to reduce your plastic consumption.
  2. Beach Cleanup – Help keep our oceans clean by volunteering for a beach cleanup. Picking up litter is an effective way to reduce pollution, beautify your area and make new friends along the way!
  3. Enjoy the Water Responsibly – While boating, kayaking, and other recreational activities are a ton of fun, it’s essential to remember that you are in another creature’s habitat. To protect marine life, be sure to avoid throwing anything overboard.
  4. Volunteer Your Time– Consider volunteering your time to an organization or charity that is working to protect our oceans and marine wildlife. Join a local group to participate in projects and fundraisers that advance conservation efforts.
  5. Think Before You Flush – Medicines and other materials often flushed down the toilet have a damaging effect on water quality and marine life. Not only do these substances harm our oceans, but they also pollute local waterways and soil. Examples of harmful products include floss, cat litter, insecticides and more.
  6. Take Note of Your Carbon Footprint –  Carbon dioxide can cause acidification of the water, which impacts the health of marine life. Learn more about how you can tweak your energy habits for a more sustainable lifestyle. Driving less and using fewer single-use goods are great ways to start.
This information was sourced from National Geographic and The Oceanic Institute.