Restaurants encouraged to put lionfish on menu

| 29/08/2011

(CNS): The local effort to cull and contain the invasive lion fish currently threatening reef life across the region is gathering pace especially as more and more local chefs are placing the tasty marine treat on the menu. Stephen Broadbelt owner of Ocean Frontiers demonstrated to ten top restaurant owners this past weekend how the fish can get onto their menus. He explained that the divers and spear-fishermen have been specially trained by the Department of the Environment to cull the fish using a DoE issued spear and they can then deliver the marine booty to chefs on demand. (Photo Lennon Christian)

Broadbelt explained that chefs, while wearing gloves can remove the spiky, venomous top, bottom and dorsal fins with kitchen shears• Once finless the soft scales can be scraped away and the fish gutted in the normal way as the fish itself is not poisonous.

He explained that restaurants can help in the goal to destroy the predatory Lionfish before they are big enough to reproduce by serving them up on local menus and encouraging the community to acquire a taste for the succulent white fish.

Broadbelt said local divers are also encouraging sea life to also add the lionfish to their diets by feeding them to moray eels, snappers, nurse sharks and groupers and encourage them to develop a taste for the finned marauders and hopefully join in the cull. So far over 5000 fish have been bagged by trained divers this year and the need to stop them reproducing continues a single fish can produce two million eggs annually.

CITA has a number of ongoing lionfish efforts including seminars and hunts as well as dive safaris and cooking demonstrations. For more information contact or the DoE at 949 8469 or


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