KEY LARGO, Fla., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Marine researchers and the U.S. government say they developed a new way to cope with the proliferation of the lionfish -- by eating them "out of existence."
The non-native lionfish has no natural predators and the fish population is growing at an alarming rate, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Marine conservationists have published a glossy recipe book they hope will increase the demand for the lionfish's soft, white, buttery flesh. The lionfish is a non-native predator that is known for its appetite and its ability to destroy aquatic life on reefs in the Caribbean and along the Atlantic Coast.
"The danger that lionfish pose for the marine ecosystem can't be overstated. They are a critical threat," said Alecia Adamson, field operations and outreach coordinator for the Reef Environmental Education Foundation in Key Largo, Fla., which created the recipe book.
"We are hoping that the cookbook will help create demand for lionfish and encourage its consumption," Adamson said. "It's a great fish to eat. It's white and flaky, not a strong flavor, so you can season it whichever way you want."
The book has 45 recipes including lionfish kebabs, lionfish nachos and spicy lionfish with dill sauce.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the goal is to "consume it out of existence."