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January 2012    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 27, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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A New Lionfish Hazard to Worry About

from the January, 2012 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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For a couple of years, conservationists have been saying that one way to reduce the population of the destructive renegade lionfish on Caribbean reefs is to spear it and eat it. Maybe not. Conservationists in St. Maarten are warning islanders not to eat lionfish after November tests found a naturally-occurring toxin in its flesh. Those findings deal a blow to the island's efforts to contain the spread of the venomous predator.

Following the lead of other Caribbean islands, St. Maarten had hoped to promote the species as batterfried or grilled entrees to slow their spread. But Tadzio Bervoets, chief of St. Maarten's Nature Foundation, said nearly half the football-sized lionfish captured in local waters were found to have a biotoxin that can lead to ciguatera poisoning, which has serious symptoms....

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