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March 2011    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 37, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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The Lionfish Cookbook

from the March, 2011 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

The Lionfish CookbookWe've written much about lionfish, and how the Pacific native is proliferating in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. Marine experts say the lionfish is a major threat, ruining reefs by eating the native species. Lad Akins, director of operations for REEF, is one of the loudest voices, and his belief is that humans are the best hope as the lionfish predator. "If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em," is Akins' motto. He just put his money where his mouth is, by working with REEF staff and a high-end chef to create The Lionfish Cookbook.

"Lionfish roundups" are now happening all over the Caribbean, and a growing number of cooks are using them at their restaurants in the Caribbean, Florida, and East Coast cities. Lionfish have a delicate, mild-flavored, white meat. Some chefs say they taste somewhere between a grouper and a snapper, while some North Carolina divers we know who round them up off their coast say "they taste just like chicken.

Akins worked with Tricia Ferguson, a "personal chef to the stars" on Bahamas' Harbour Island, to create 45 lionfish- based recipes, each with a full-color photo. The cookbook also has background on the lionfish invasion and its impacts, and details on how to effectively catch, handle and prepare the fish. If you're renting a house in Florida or the Caribbean and participate in a lionfish roundup, take a few lionfish home and whip out this cookbook to prepare a tasty dinner. The paperback costs $16.95 on; click on the link in our "Books" section at, and a portion of the proceeds goes to our efforts to save reefs and their inhabitants.

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