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Stop Invasive Species by Eating Them?

Updated on August 8, 2012

Waters Surrounding Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean Threatened

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Do NOT eat any plant, fish or animal UNLESS you are certain of what you are doing and can identify them properly and you know exactly how to handle and prepare them!!!!!!

Grass Carp

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Invasive Species

Invasive species are all around us--near our homes, places of business, park and recreational areas, and lakes, rivers, and oceans as well as all the many spots we love to vacation. These species include plants and animals and microbes invisible to the human eye. They not only only impact eco-systems but also can wreak economic havoc.

Unfortunately, our own human interaction and involvment with the environment is the primary cause of the problem of invasive species. Sometimes nonnative animals or plants are imported to combat a certain issue and subsequently, cause a new and even bigger problem.

For example, asian carp were originally imported from Southeast Asia to the Mid-West region of the United States to help wastewater treatment plants keep retention ponds clean.Flooding allowed these fish to escape into the Mississippi River system. According to the USDA, these fish were originially introduced in the 1960's and 1970's.


Protect our Marine Eco-Systems so All Can Enjoy!

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What to do about Invasive Animals and Plants?

Many discussions and initiatives are taking place within federal, state and local agencies, community groups, environmental organizations, and by concernced citizens. One new idea has started to get some exposure: how about creating a desire for consumers to EAT the edible invasive species?

For example, three chefs in Miami, Florida recently had a cook-off competition. Python, wild board, and lion fish were the featured ingredients! Todd Erickson, executive chef of Haven Gastro-Lounge; Bradley Herron, chef de cuisine of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink; and Timon Balloo, executive chef of Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill, all competed. They wanted to raise awareness about these animals as well as do a fundraiser on behalf of Fertile Earth Foundation. (see http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/22/2864011_python-for-dinner-3-top-local.html)

Just imagine, you can be an adventurous eater without traveling too far from home--all while protecting and helping your environment!

How to Fillet a Lionfish

Be careful!

The venom in Lionfish's spines remains venomous for at least one hour after it has died, so be extremely careful when handling and preparing to eat! Once the spines have been removed, it can be prepared like any other fish -- grilled, baked or jerked!

Lionfish Cookbook

European Gypsy Moth

According to the Smithsonian Institution, the moth was imported in 1869 for silk production and it has decimated forests.
According to the Smithsonian Institution, the moth was imported in 1869 for silk production and it has decimated forests. | Source

Burmese Python

Burmese Pythons were imported for pets and an established population was discovered in Florida in 2000.
Burmese Pythons were imported for pets and an established population was discovered in Florida in 2000. | Source

Top Invasive Animals in the United States

Invasive Animals include:

  • Africanized Honeybee
  • Asian Citrus Psyllid
  • Asian Long-Horned Beetle
  • Asian Tiger Mosquito
  • Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
  • Cactus Moth
  • Chilli Thrips
  • Citrus Longhorned Beetle
  • Common Pine Shoot Beetle
  • Emerald Ash Borer
  • European Gypsy Moth
  • European Spruce Bark Beetle
  • Formosan Subterranean Termite
  • Giant African Snail
  • Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter
  • Hemlock Wooly Adelgid
  • Light Brown Apple Moth
  • Mediterranean Fruit Fly
  • Pink Bollworm
  • Pink Hibiscus Mealybug
  • Red Imported Fire Ant
  • Russian Wheat Aphid
  • Silverleaf Whitefly
  • Sirex Woodwasp
  • Soybean Cyst Nematode
  • Burmese Python
  • Brown Tree Snake
  • Cane Toad
  • European Starling
  • Wild Boar

Brazilian Waterweed

Brazilian waterweed was introduced in 1893 through the aquarium trade and now crowds out native plants.
Brazilian waterweed was introduced in 1893 through the aquarium trade and now crowds out native plants. | Source

Lionfish

Lionfish were introduced to the U.S. in 1992 through the aquarium trade. They prey on native species and have venomous spines.
Lionfish were introduced to the U.S. in 1992 through the aquarium trade. They prey on native species and have venomous spines. | Source

Nutria

Nutria were introduced in the 1930's for fur production. They now are destroying wetlands.
Nutria were introduced in the 1930's for fur production. They now are destroying wetlands. | Source

Top Invasive Aquatic Species in the United States

Invasive Aquatic Plants include:

  • Alligatorweed
  • Brazilian Waterweed
  • Caulerpa, Mediterranean Clone
  • Common Reed
  • Curly Pondweed
  • Didymo
  • Eurasian Watermilfoil
  • Giant Reed
  • Giant Salvinia
  • Hydrilla
  • Melaleuca
  • Purple Loosestrife
  • Water Chestnut
  • Water Hyacinth
  • Water Lettuce
  • Water Spinach

Invasive Aquatic Animals include:

  • lewife
  • Asian carps
  • Asian Clam
  • Asian Shore Crab
  • Asian Swamp Eel
  • Bullfrog
  • Chinese Mitten Crab
  • Clubbed Tunicate
  • Eurasian Ruffe
  • European Green Crab
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Lionfish
  • Northern Snakehead
  • New Zealand Mud Snail
  • Nutria
  • Quagga Mussel
  • Round Goby
  • Rusty Crayfish
  • Sea Lamprey
  • Sea Squirt
  • Spiny Water Flea
  • White Spotted Jellyfish
  • Zebra Mussel

Lionfish

To Eat or Not to Eat??

Would You Like to Try Eating Lionfish?

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    • Laurel Brunvoll profile image
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      Laurel Brunvoll 5 years ago

      Thanks, JKenny! I have decided if I have enough courageous spirit to try this Lionfish recipe myself -- though it does sound yummy and I love to eat fish!

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Interesting hub Laurel- sounds like a good solution, its certainly better than anything else I've come across.

    • Laurel Brunvoll profile image
      Author

      Laurel Brunvoll 5 years ago

      Thank you, billybuc! Somehow this topic has completely fascinated me! I learned a lot myself!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Useful and interesting; you did a good job of presenting the information.