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Government Encouraging Fishing of Lionfish

Lucy Towers
24 September 2013, at 1:00am

VENEZUELA - The Bolivarian government of Venezuela is promoting the capture of the problematic lionfish, promoting it as a nutritious fish.

"We are grateful that the government has promoted fishing this animal, because for over a year we have been affected by this pest that eats everything," said Fishermen Council spokesman Crisólogo Soto.

In Venezuela this species has been sighted along almost the entire coast, with a great presence in Sucre, Vargas and Falcon.

Many fishermen lift their traps to find them full of lionfish and very little else.

Lionfish can be very damaging as it eats fry, slowing the breeding of many species.

The lionfish, native to the Indian and Pacific oceans, was imported from the middle of the last century to Florida, United States, from the Philippines and Indonesia, with the aim of being a decorative fish in aquariums.

The most documented leakage occurred in 1992, when Hurricane Andrew broke the tanks of an aquarium in Florida, dumping six lionfish that were spreading across the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea, wiping out many species and threatening the delicate ecosystems.

Eating them is a good option for control

The Bolivarian Government, through Insopesca is now inviting the public to enjoy this fish which has meat of a high quality and a high nutritional value.