José Andres is a man of many talents, but recently he spoke to National Geographic about his newest talent: scuba diving! Namely, scuba diving while hunting lionfish. And also saving the Caribbean ecosystem. Wait, what?
While he picked up the hobby during his downtime at the annual Cayman Cookout, Andres said that he learned about the dangers of the lionfish from a chef friend of his, Michael Schwartz. While they might be pretty, lionfish are “doing ugly things to the Caribbean’s waters, swimming there uninvited and unwanted.” It’s an invasive species with an absurdly long life, a voracious appetite, and no natural predators — and as such, is wreaking havoc on the delicate reef ecosystem.
But man is the most natural predator there is, and so Andres wants people to eat more lionfish. It’s kind of like tilapia, he says, and works great in a ceviche:
But among a long list of issues our world’s oceans are facing – whether it’s the overfishing of certain populations, pollution or the demolition of the sea floor, removing lionfish from waters where they’re not wanted and making a delicious ceviche is just a small part that we can play. The oceans that so many of us enjoy will be a better place, and your taste buds are going to be happy about it.
While the thought of Jose Andres scuba diving and spearfishing is a delightful one, you know what’s better than that thought? Actually watching it. Here’s footage of his dive in the Cayman Islands from months ago:
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