Lionfish everywhere!!

Aargh, here they come.
More information at:
the Smithsonian online

Eat em up!!!
quoting the Smithsonian’s article “In April 2008, nearly 200 people came to the headquarters of the Bahamas National Trust, the organization responsible for managing the country’s parks and wildlife sanctuaries, to watch Alexander Maillis cook a lionfish on live local morning television. With his bare hands, Maillis extracted a lionfish from a pile at his side and demonstrated how to slice off the poisonous spines. Local fishermen came up and touched the fish. Later, everyone at the program tasted a slice of pan-fried lionfish.

Maillis works as a lawyer but comes from a family of commercial fishermen. The Maillis family traces its origin to Greece, and this heritage is what first gave Alexander the idea to serve lionfish in the Bahamas.

“Greeks in the Mediterranean have been eating lionfish for years with no ill effects,” Maillis says. Lionfish are not native to the Mediterranean, either. Members of Pterois miles, the less common species in the Atlantic invasion, invaded the Mediterranean sometime in the 1980s via the Suez Canal. “And it’s a highly prized panfish in the Pacific Rim.” Together with a cousin who is also a fisherman, Maillis taught himself how to handle and cook a lionfish. He learned that if he sliced off the venomous dorsal and anal fins, or if he cooked the fish at high temperatures, the lionfish became harmless. Lionfish flesh isn’t poisonous, and heat neutralizes the spines’ toxins.

Maillis says that his friends were doubtful about his new dish until he cut open a lionfish stomach and showed them the nine baby parrotfish and three small shrimp inside it. Seeing such a vast number of young prey inside a single fish illustrated what a voracious predator the lionfish could be. Now Maillis’ friends are on board. One of them got so swept up that when he later spotted a lionfish in the water off the beach, he rigged a spear from an umbrella and a knife, stabbed the lionfish, and cooked the fish for his family.

Read more:
Hey, I know Pericles Maillis!! Small world.

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