Whole Foods is selling fresh lionfish from the Florida coast to ease the impact of a venomous invader.
Whole Foods just expanded its seafood department in a way that could help preserve underwater reefs along the Florida coast.
The grocery chain has begun selling fresh lionfish, a prickly, non-native species with 18 venomous spines, reports The Sun Sentinel. Employees at stores carrying the fish have been trained to remove the spines, leaving white fish meat that’ll go for $8.99 per pound through the end of May and $9.99 per pound starting June 1.
For now, lionfish is only available in Whole Foods’ 26 Florida locations, as there is no established supply chain for catching and transporting lionfish across the US. That’s mostly because it’s a tough fish to catch.
“It has to be caught with individual divers,” said a Whole Foods spokeswoman, who described fishermen wielding spears and planting traps to capture the lionfish. Because obtaining the catch can be so cumbersome, there are no large-quantity orders yet.
“It’s actually something we’re really eager to help figure out, but it’s definitely going to be a process,” the spokeswoman added.
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