Nikos with his coworkers in iSea decided back in 2019 to do something more than recording alien species in the Mediterranean sea and the Aegean Sea. They decided that they need to teach the people that lionfish and other alien species are tasty and they should protect the marine environment via their consumption habits, and especially by consuming edible alien species, such as lionfish.
In 2019 iSea created the project “Pick The Alien” and with the help of local chefs, restaurant, fishers and a food truck they prepared and fed the locals with edible alien species all over Greece.
What do you like about lionfish hunting?
It is not all about lionfish hunting, but it is about teaching fishers and recreational fishers not to be afraid of the lionfish and start hunting them. Since 2019, many many fishers are sending us their pictures with the lionfish they have caught and that they are happy that they can protect the marine ecosystems with that way.
What do you like about the lionfish community?
It is the common feeling about the protection of the marine ecosystem.
People should all understand that their consumption habits can play a great role in the protection of the marine ecosystems, and through responsible consumption of seafood they can add pressure to change the fishing habits.
Consumers should start protecting their native apex predators, such as groupers, tunas etc and avoid buying/eating them at a restaurant / fishmarket.
Additionally, people should understand that all alien species should not be “demonized” and although that we should remove as many as possible, we should treat them with respect, because it is not the species’ fault that they ended up in a new region, but it is due to human activities.