Is a commercial market for invasive lionfish a good idea?

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Is a commercial market for invasive lionfish a good idea?
Phil Karp
Commercial Market for Lionfish

The lionfish invasion poses a unique threat and one that requires innovative approaches to control. The good news is that there is increasing evidence that native fish populations can recover relatively quickly if lionfish numbers are kept in check (Green, et al 2014), so the question becomes one of how to do this effectively and on a fiscally sustainable basis. Marine protection agencies can't do it alone, nor can legions of volunteer divers. Successful and sustained removal will require strategies that mobilize a range of stakeholders.   A key element will be development of markets that create commercial incentives for removals. Ideally, these should also provide livelihood opportunities for the fisher communities that are directly impacted by the threat.  Foremost of these markets is the fisher/seafood seller/restaurant value chain. Promotion of lionfish as a food item has the dual benefit of creating commercial incentives for removals while also raising awareness about the invasion.

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