Lionfish have become an increasing problem for recreational and commercial fishermen in Florida, throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. But there is a move afoot to at least try to curb their numbers by making them a viable commercial species. The idea is, that if they become popular, we can beat them into submission like we have snapper, grouper and a host of other important commercial and recreational species.
This is the topic of my first Sunday Feature (and accompanying video) as outdoor columnist for Florida Today newspaper on the Space Coast. I started my writing career there under Bill Sargent, almost 30 years ago while still in high school. Several years ago, when Bill retired, another colleague of mine, Lee Nessel was the sports editor, and she asked me to fill in. I did. Now, Bill is retiring for the second time, easing up on his outdoor duties and hopefully spending even more time in the field and out on the water.
If you want to get in on the fun of killing and cooking your own lionfish, the Reef Environmental Education Foundation is a good start. If you'd like to put together a lionfish assasination kit, look no further than the folks at Zookeeper.