Select seafood departments at Wegmans Food Markets now offer whole, fresh lionfish from Florida, where it is considered an invasive species.
Likely introduced to the Gulf of Mexico from domestic fish tanks or aquariums, lionfish has no natural predators, reproduces quickly, and feeds on smaller fish that keep coral reefs healthy, according to the retailer.
The lionfish sold at Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans are spear-caught by underwater divers in Florida. The retailer said the fish is similar in flavor and texture to snapper.
“We do our part to source seafood responsibly, and by introducing lionfish in the markets we serve, we’re also helping control the population to protect the gulf reefs for the future,” Mark Fromm, Wegmans seafood category merchant, said in a press release. “We love it when our customers are open to trying different kinds of fish. lionfish are plentiful and tasty, but simply not as well known yet.”
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