You may have seen these beauties the aquarium in your local Chinese restaurant, and it’s their captivating looks that got us into this mess.
Whether the first lion fish that left the aquariums they were imported for escaped or were released we’ll never know, but the results are obvious. These brightly colored carnivores hit the jackpot when they found themselves in an enviornment with plentiful food, few diseases and parasites that bothered them, and practically no predators. The poison in the spines on their back is a very good defense against being eaten.
The lion fish are making life very hard for a lot of native species, but there is a potential bright side to this invasion. Lion fish meat is, purportedly, very tasty. I’d be happy to swap my tuna salad for lion fish salad. If there are no fish in the Carribean that are willing to catch and eat lion fish, then more for us humans, I say.
Humans may be the answer to environmental control of the lion fish, but we seem to be the problem when it comes to other fish. Check out this infographic on the effects of farmed vs wild-caught salmon.