Lionfish food danger: Lionfish harvested in Florida's waterways might harbor toxins

If lionfish are on the menu, you might want to drop them from your diet.

The invasive fish are considered a threat to the ecosystem. Divers have held roundups to rid them from Florida waters.

And NOAA has even promoted an ‘Eat Lionfish' campaign .

But The University of Florida/IFAS St. Lucie County Cooperative Extension has received a food safety update from Florida Sea Grant.

It now says, "research has shown that lionfish harvested in Florida's waterways might harbor toxins which cause a food-borne illness called ciguatera."

The extension office says, "If someone tells you it is OK to eat lionfish, tell them that the latest FDA science indicates that there is a significant risk, and we recommend that they do not eat them."

Divers and ecologist are concerned because the lionfish eat smaller fish that feast on the algae on coral reefs.

The National Ocean Service says it is likely the fish were introduced to Atlantic waters by amateur aquarists no longer wishing to keep the fish.

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