Li­on­fish might be the next del­i­cacy

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

LOS ANGELES — As it turns out, some of the best cooks in the world think li­on­fish, a ven­omous preda­tory fish that is breed­ing out of con­trol and de­stroy­ing marine ecosys­tems in the At­lantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, is de­li­cious.

Chefs gath­ered in Ber­muda on Wed­nes­day for a com­pe­ti­tion dubbed the “Li­on­fish Throw­down” that saw them chal­lenge each other to come up with the tasti­est so­lu­tion to the prob­lem of in­va­sive li­on­fish.

“Ev­ery chef likes to be sus­tain­able in what they are do­ing,” said Chris Kenny, head chef on Necker Is­land in the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands.

“Li­on­fish are go­ing to keep spread­ing, and it’s not go­ing to stop un­less peo­ple step in and do some­thing about it.”

Na­tive to the Pa­cific Ocean, li­on­fish have no nat­u­ral preda­tors in At­lantic wa­ters and fe­males can spawn nearly 2 mil­lion eggs an­nu­ally.

“On reefs where sport divers are ac­tively div­ing with har­poons to try to con­trol the li­on­fish, they ac­tu­ally do a pretty good job,” said Colin An­gle, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of iRobot Corp, a con­sumer ro­bot com­pany that builds and de­signs ro­bots.

“But that’s a very small per­cent­age of the ocean ... We needed some­thing far more flex­i­ble that could go far deeper, longer.”

An­gle, who re­cently founded Ro­bots In Ser­vice of the En­vi­ron­ment, a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion set up to pro­tect the oceans, built a ma­chine named the Guardian specif­i­cally de­signed to hunt and cap­ture li­on­fish.

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