If you’ve noticed a number of restaurants featuring ‘lionfish’ on their menus, it could be because of an effort to get as many of the fish out of our waters as possible—the opposite of what you think of when it comes to responsible fishing.
Turns out lionfish are not indigenous to our warm Gulf waters – they hail from the Indo-Pacific but made a splash in the warm Caribbean about 20 years ago and have been consistently migrating north ever since. Their only known predator is the Grouper, and it’s been so overfished that lionfish are proliferating in frightening numbers.
Said to be voracious and deadly (lionfish’s sting is painful and dangerous to humans), many scientists say the lionfish invasion has the potential to be one of the most disastrous marine invasions in history, killing off a huge percentage of indigenous species. Divers and fisherman are actually rewarded for removing lionfish. And there’s an upside. While lionfish may be terrible for our waters, they’re quite good on our tables. Turns out the fish is very delicious!
One of my favorite restaurants, Haven, is joining in on the fight to rid our waters of the predators by hosting a special multi-course dinner on October 11. Divers from a Mexico based environmental fishing coop, will spear the fish, pack it and put it on a plane just 24 hours before the dinner at Haven.
Chef Randy Evan’s menu looks incredible. He sent a few photos over this morning…. Check out the Peanut-Crusted Lionfish and the Lionfish en Hoja Santa Papillotte!
The cost is $40 per person, and you can make reservations by calling Haven at 713-581-6101.