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Invasive Species: Whole Foods Market to sell invasive lionfish starting Wednesday

How great to see these invasive species put to good use. By all accounts, lionfish is absolutely delectable in many preparations from ceviche to fish fry. Kudos to Whole Foods for taking this step to increase demand. Sustainable seafood is the way of the future.

By Doreen Christensen for the Sun Sentinel

Whole Foods is set to sell fresh lionfish in seafood departments, hoping to take a bite out of the non-native, invasive species hurting Florida’s offshore reefs.

Starting Wednesday, 26 Florida Whole Foods stores will begin selling the whole delicate white fish for $8.99 a pound through May 31. The fish will be priced at $9.99 per pound starting June 1.

By The High Fin Sperm Whale (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0

By The High Fin Sperm Whale (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0

The economically-priced fish, which has 18 venomous spines, is safe to consume once the spines have been removed. “Once caught and placed on ice, the lionfish physically cannot release venom from the gland, ensuring safe consumption for shoppers,” says the release. The flesh is not poisonous.

The grocer’s seafood staff received special training to properly remove the spines, according to the release.

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