Menace-Causing Lionfish A Tasty Treat At Artist Opening

MIAMI (CBS4) – A South Florida artist is working to stop an invasive species from taking over our waterways.

Gretching Scharnagl is encouraging people to take the lionfish out of the ocean and put it on a plate.

Biologists say lionfish are multiplying rapidly, and Scharnagl says she’s concerned about the lionfish invasion.

“You open the stomach of a lionfish and there will be like four or six little fish in there and they’re often the babies of a very important native species,” said Schamagl.

Friday was opening night for her exhibit designed both to capture the lionfish’s beauty and to combat its invasion. She filled Pyramid Studios in Kendall with photos, drawings, and artwork featuring the fish.

The opening night event also filled people’s stomachs with lionfish. Scharnagl called it a solution to the problem.

Most said they’d never tried lionfish before.

“They don’t look edible do they?” asked Anna Schinella who later described the fish as “delightful, like a grouper or snapper.”

“Often we’ll find people who say ‘Oh no you can’t eat them because they’re like puffer fish and they’re poisonous’,” said Kara Wall with Key Biscayne National Park but really they’re venomous and all of their toxin is confined to the spine.”

Once the spine is removed, the lionfish can be filleted, fried, grilled, and served any way anyone likes it.


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