We’ve seen lots of great menus on Caribbean yacht charter vessels in the past, but we’re not sure this next recipe will be a hit with yacht charter chefs:
Florida marine conservationists have come up with a simple "recipe" for fighting the invading Lionfish that is gobbling up local reef life — EAT them!
With few natural predators, Lionfish have been rapidly expanding in Caribbean and Atlantic waters, voraciously preying on local fish, shrimp, and crab populations across the region and in Florida, which has world-famous coral reefs.
Clients returning from Bahama yacht charters have reported seeing "lots" of the venomous creatures while snorkeling the local reefs.
The Key Largo-based REEF conservation organization has just released "The Lionfish Cookbook," a collection of 45 recipes which is the group’s latest strategy to counter an invasion of the non-native reddish-brown striped fish in Florida waters.
With no government funds available to provide bounties or removal programs, conservationists hope to create a commercial demand for the fish.
"It’s absolutely good eating — a delicacy. It’s delicately-flavored white meat, very buttery," boasts Lad Akins, director of special projects for Reef Environmental Education Foundation. Akins authored the cookbook along with a professional chef, Tricia Ferguson.
Researchers believe the Red Lionfish was introduced into Florida waters during Hurricane Andrew in 1992 when an aquarium broke and at least six fish spilled into Miami’s Biscayne Bay.
The front section of the cookbook, which calls the Lionfish "the Caribbean’s new delicacy," gives useful tips on collecting, handling, and preparing the colorful species, as well as providing expert background on its ecological impact.
The recipe book can be purchased online at www.reef.org.
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