CKIM Group Inc., who manages BVI Sail, is doing a series on the current Lionfish Invasion in the Caribbean waters. In part 1 of our discussion, we talked about where Lionfish come from and why they are bad for sea life in the Caribbean waters. Click here to view Part 1 of this discussion. In Part 2 of our discussion, we talked about what Lionfish eat and how much they eat. Click here to view Part 2 of this discussion.
In Part 3 we will discuss the maturation and reproduction of lionfish as well as the best ways to prepare and eat lionfish:
Lionfish become sexually mature during their first year. Males are mature at 4″ and females at 7″.
Females spawn year-round, every 4 days and produce 4,000 – 30,000 eggs per batch or spawning. This means each female can produce more than 2 MILLION eggs per year!
The embryo of the lionfish begins to form around 12 hours after fertilization, with a developing head and eyes becoming apparent after 18 hours. The mucus walls of the encasing eggs become invaded by microbes, and deteriorate around 36 hours after fertilization when the planktonic larvae hatch.
In order to combat the growth of the Lionfish population, several organizations are promoting the hunting and eating of lionfish.
Lionfish are delicious and taste like a cross between a hog snapper and a grouper. The flesh is firm and white. Once the spines have been removed, you can treat a lionfish like any other good eating fish. They are excellent fried, blackened, and sautéed. They also make excellent sushi and ceviche. Care must be exercised as the spines may cause injury.
Stay posted for Part 4 of our Series “Invasion of the Caribbean waters – Lionfish” where we talk about what to do if you spot one and give you some quick facts on lionfish.