NOAA’s “Eat Lionfish” Campaign Gaining Traction in the Media
Press on the problem of lionfish and the Eat Lionfish Campaign has intensified recently, from The Washington Post, Fox News, AP, UPI and local media, particularly in Florida.
For the last year, NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) has worked to confront the lionfish invasion of the U.S. east coast and Caribbean by encouraging people to catch and eat this unwanted species. The Eat Lionfish Campaign brings together fishers, wholesalers, chefs, and diners as active participants in a grassroots effort to protect our reef resources. This campaign builds on years of cutting-edge research conducted by NOAA to track the spread of lionfish and to fill in major scientific gaps in the biology, ecology, and impacts of this fish.
Before launching the Eat Lionfish Campaign, NCCOS consulted with a number of organizations across NOAA and other agencies. NOAA is working with the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, non-profits, and others to support the development of a market and to educate the public on the issue.
Lionfish are increasingly showing up in commercial catches, both lobster pots and on hooks, and the media attention is beginning to interest the public, making it ever more important for catchers of lionfish to be educated about its safe handling.