I’m going to start this post off by saying… Not all Caribbean islands rules/laws are the same so make sure before you do anything, you check with their regulations. Okay, with that said…
What is a Lionfish?
A lionfish is a native Indo-Pacific fish that has become an invasive species in the Atlantic Ocean waters. In the Indo-Pacific waters, these fish are an uncommon and beautiful sight. They are in balance with the ecosystem and the rest of nature. But in the Atlantic and Southeast Caribbean waters, these fish are a bit of a nuisance.
In the Caribbean/Atlantic waters, these fish have become invasive and a potential harm to the reef ecosystem life. It is a carnivorous predator that fights for their food and space with the overfished native stocks such as snapper and grouper. Scientists fear that they will kill off the useful species of algae-eating fish such as the parrotfish, allowing seaweed to overtake the reefs.
But why? Well, the lionfish has no known predator in this area and they populate year-round. Interesting fact: a mature female can release roughly 2 million eggs per year. Hmmm… no wonder they are taking over…
All this information leads us up to today’s post:
What is a speargun? Well, if you don’t know this, I’m glad you’re here. A Speargun is an underwater fishing instrument designed to launch a spear into fish or other underwater animals (or targets).
There are two basic types: pneumatic and those powered by rubber bands. Spear types come in a variety of sizes and types. We carry the rubber band type.
The basic components of a speargun include a spearhead, a barrel, and a handle allowing the fisherman to grip the speargun. The trigger typically is in the handle of the speargun.
I started this post by mentioning that each Caribbean island has different rules/regulations regarding spearfishing. Please check with your dive site to make sure that spearguns are even allowed. I’m not sure I can stress this point enough. You’d hate to get into international trouble.
There are islands that allow speargunning though. There are even those islands that if you catch Lionfish, for example, they will cook them up for you. What more could you ask for really?
Oh, a recipe? Did I hear you ask for a recipe? Well, this recipe didn’t make our cookbook, although I want to mention that it is in production as we speak. Production = printing presses! Who is excited, besides me anyway?
Okay, so here’s a recipe just because you asked so nicely…
Almond Crusted Lionfish
The Lionfish Cookbook: The Caribbean’s New Delicacy, Pg 112
- 8 Lionfish fillets
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 c Ground almonds
- 1 c Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
- 1/4 c All-purpose Flour
- 6 tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp Salt
- Parsley for garnish
- 8 Lemon wedges
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- In a small bowl, beat eggs.
- Combine pepper, garlic powder, almonds, and Parmesan cheese in a separate bowl.
- Place flour in a third bowl.
- First, dip the fish fillet in the flour, then the eggs, then the almond mixture.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook lionfish 2 minutes per side until golden brown.
- Place fish on a plate and squeeze lemon over fish. Sprinkle with parsley.
- Serve with a favorite side.