Lionfish..... beautiful, dangerous, dinner?
Eat lionfish? Sure, but beware of the nasty toxins - Vitals
Eat lionfish? Sure, but beware of the nasty toxins
Lionfish may be lovely to look at, but the invasive, voracious fish are regarded as the scourge of the seas.
By JoNel Aleccia
A federal plan to battle invasive lionfish by dishing them up on America’s dinner plates may have backfired with the news that the flamboyantly-finned creatures can harbor a potentially dangerous neurotoxin.
Two years ago, officials with NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, launched a well-publicized campaign
, complete with flashy pull-cards, a lionfish cookbook and a catchy slogan. As one newsletter put it, “If we can’t beat them, let’s eat them."
The effort was aimed at harnessing the power of the U.S. appetite to help battle the voracious fish that has spread far from its native Pacific waters to ravage the reef ecosystems of the U.S. Southeast and the Caribbean.
“Once stripped of its venomous spines, cleaned and filleted like any other fish, the lionfish becomes delectable seafood fare,” NOAA officials enthused.
But another government agency, the Food and Drug Administration, now frowns on the “Eat Lionfish” campaign after tests of nearly 200 lionfish show that more than a quarter exceed federal levels for a toxin that can cause ciguatera, a potentially dangerous fish food poisoning.
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