Lionfish are a menace when they take hold in areas they wouldn’t normally inhabit. Native to the South Pacific, this fish has invaded the Caribbean Sea and southern Atlantic Ocean, where it’s gobbling up shrimp, along with baby snapper and grouper, two species that are only now recovering from years of overfishing. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration even urges Americans to indulge in lionfish fare, an item that is starting to pop up on some restaurant menus. “The texture reminds me of Chilean sea bass. You don’t get as much meat out of a lionfish as you do from a Chilean sea bass, but on the other hand we’re running out of the sea bass and have way too many lionfish,” Landers says, adding that lionfish are expected to reach the east coast of Massachusetts within 20 years.
Supermarket Fix: If your local restaurants don’t carry lionfish, make more sustainable choices in the meantime, such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon or Arctic char.
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