Meet the Lionfish; you may shortly be having a very close encounter with him. He is is one of the most poisonous fish in the world, delivering venom from up to 18 dorsal fins which have spines as sharp as needles. Extremly painful, but rarely fatal, it's stings can cause convultions, breathing problems, and collapse. It is believed that this fish was introduced into the waters off of Florida by hobbysists and collectors in the 1990's. It is now a relentless predator in the waters and is threatning the entire eco-system of the coral reefs. It is eating all the fish that keep the reefs healthy, and one group has even called the Lionfish a plague of biblical proportions. Some reefs have 1,000 per acre now, with the population expanding 700% in four years. It can live up to 15 years. Oh, and one other thing. It has no natural enemies. The only predator who can wipe it out is us. So there is a big move now to catch and eat this fish out of existance. They are already serving it in restaraunts in Washington, D.C. They say it tastes like a cross between snapper and grouper. Would YOU eat it? I can think of many things we eat that look much scarier or slimier. For instance, lobster, squid, and snails. I wouldn't mind eating him, but what if there were just one of those tiny needle spines left....perhaps the cooks should be sure they health insurance.
First picture taken by me from the newspaper, all others from the web.
"What goes into a man's mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean." Matthew 15:11