Lionfish look tricky to fillet – how do you deal with all those spines?
In fact, with the right equipment, they are straightforward to prepare and provide meaty white fillets, delicious and versatile.
As part of our Lionfish on the Menu project, we provided ‘kits’ of equipment to sixty fishers, consisting of a filleting knife, shears, puncture-proof gloves, an apron, hair net and chopping board.
Our partner, CLEAR Caribbean, ran training sessions on how to slice and dice the fish, and our survey of participants showed that all 53 fishers who attended the sessions agreed that it had increased their knowledge of how to handle and process lionfish for consumption. Previous research had shown that only around a third of those who catch it know how to fillet the fish.
Our further plans were to supply coolers to keep the lionfish fresh for longer, but on my last trip I discovered that the ones we had in mind were a bit large for the purpose – we’re now buying smaller ones that can be taken out on boats and easily transferred from boat to truck.