Field Guide: Lionfish

Type: lionfish


What is it

Lionfish is an invasive species, meaning they’re not from around here. They prey on all kinds of commercially, recreationally, and ecologically important species, and with venomous spines on their bodies, you don’t want to touch ‘em. But here on land, Lionfish is not just edible, but considered a delicacy. Flaky but firm in texture, these white filets have a hint of natural buttery taste, so catch and eat as many as you can!

When to get it

When it comes to Lionfish, obtaining it is not usually an issue. This invasive species is available along the Gulf coast in abundance all year round.

Where does it come from

Originally hailing from Indo-Pacific but introduced to the Gulf through the aquarium trade, Lionfish can be found on just about any kind of reef structure, from nearshore waters to 1000+ feet. Keep in mind, though, Lionfish usually don’t bite at a hook; divers usually have the most success hauling them in.

How it's prepared

Lionfish isn’t just delicious—it’s good for you. Compared to many fish, Lionfish is high in heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids and lower in saturated fats. These flaky white filets taste great lightly fried, but they’re also quite good raw—in sushi, sashimi, or ceviche. (And don’t worry; their armor may be venomous, but the filets are perfectly fine to eat.)



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