But cut off the spines, as they did at the derby, and lionfish go from malicious to delicious. Lionfish ceviche, anyone?
Some of that day's catch was sent to Norman's Cay, a Caribbean restaurant in New York City.
Since lionfish must be killed one at a time, it's expensive, and this is one of the few restaurants serving it.
"We're not making any money on the fish, that's for sure," said co-owner Ryan Chadwick, who sells the fish for around $26 a plate -- less than what it costs.
"It's more about helping the ecosystem in doing something different," he told Hall.
And as for the taste? "It's a white, flaky, buttery fish," Chadwick said. He served the jerk lionfish, which has "a little heat, a little spice."
Hall pronounced it really good, "actually very similar to snapper. Just a very crisp, mild flavor. And it picks up the spices very well."
Which makes Lad Akins hope that maybe we can eat our way out of this problem.
"I think we have a lot of examples of eating through fish stocks," Akins said. "And here's a fish that needs to be controlled. And if we can provide a culinary value, I think we can impact the lionfish population just through removal for consumption. It's a win-win for everybody -- except the lionfish."
Just bring a sense of adventure (and your wallet) to the dinner table.
WEB EXTRA: Lionfish recipes (from "The Lionfish Cookbook")
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