In this article, we are going to discuss can you eat lionfish. Lionfish are, also known as Pterois, is native to the Western and Southern pacific ocean. They are also native to the vast Indian ocean. If you are diving in one of these oceans, you can find these fish near the coral bed of the ocean.
They can be easily identified due to their unique physical appearance. They have distinctive maroon or brown bodies with white stripes all over the body. They have large fins extending from the front position of their body. They got the name from the lion-like appearance of their fins.
These fish are venomous, so they should be handled carefully. Deep-sea divers use special gear for hunting these fish. They can be easily found in the Indo-pacific ocean. These sea divers use a device known as a spear gun. It will eject a sharp bow at fatal speed inside the water. But most of the natives of the Indo-pacific ocean use a spear for hunting these species as they are much more efficient.
Using a spear gun can be troublesome if you miss the shot as the spearhead will get stuck in the coral reefs. It would be very hard to get them back. You can use a spearhead for hunting them down as they move slowly. But make sure not to get stung by its fins as they carry strong poison, which can even lead to death.
We are clear about the hunting part. But can you eat lionfish? We have also seen they are poisonous, so it is safe to eat them? We will answer that question in this article.
Can you eat lionfish
Lionfish are venomous but are they poisonous to eat? No, they are not poisonous when prepared properly. You can safely eat lionfish after cooking them properly. In fact, there are multiple benefits for you and the environment by consuming a lionfish.
First, we will discuss the benefits for the environment when you eat lionfish. Lionfish are native to India and some parts of the pacific ocean. But they are extending their habitat to other surrounding oceans such as the Atlantic ocean.
These lionfish are tough and don’t have many predators that prey on them. Due to their venomous fins, they are at the pinnacle of the food chain. So, not even giant predators like sharks would dare to touch them. They live mostly on the surface of coral reefs. They are invading the Atlantic ocean, where there are no predators that try to hunt and eat them.
Due to this, the native fish are being hunted and eaten by the lionfish. This greatly affects the ecosystem in the Atlantic ocean. When the small fish are gone because of the lionfish, the bigger predators that depend on these fish will certainly starve to death.
So, several organizations are encouraging people to eat lionfish in their non-native regions. This will keep the population of these species in their non-native regions in check. Since there are no predators that can hunt down these fish, it is the ultimate responsibility of the species that are at the top of the food chain, which is the human being.
Health Benefits Of Eating A Lionfish
There are multiple health benefits one could reap by eating a lionfish. Most of the predator fish that lives in the freshwater and seawater can be poisonous as they contain a high amount of toxins in their body. When ingested, they can cause severe abdominal and digestive problems. These fish also contain higher levels of mercury in their flesh which can cause memory loss at the least.
But lionfish doesn’t have any of these problems when they are properly cooked. They contain omega-3 fatty acids that are known to keep your heart healthy. They also contain incredibly lower levels of saturated fats, which are the main reason for causing heart problems.
Only the fins or spines of the fish contain the venom, not their body. So, you will be perfectly alright after cooking them in the right manner.
There are thousands of people all over the world eating lionfish from hundreds of renowned restaurants. These fish are not only safe to eat but also much tastier than most edible fish in the ocean. You will find the meat of lionfish tastier than a typical tuna you eat on any fine day.
There is also a TV celebrity who ate the lionfish in a TV show called Man vs. Wild. The star of the show, named Bear Grylls, hunted a lionfish with a self-made spear, cooked and ate it in the show to demonstrate the art of survival.
This shows that the lionfish is safe to eat and also contributes to the environment too. Here is everything about can you eat lionfish.
You can also checkout – Can you eat goldfish?