News Flash


Posted on: September 9, 2018

Lionfish lecture and tasting at Marine Discovery Center set for Sep 20


Lionfish are an invasive species from Indo-Pacific waters that are now found on the Eastern Seaboard. This fish will be the focus of the Marine Discovery Center’s September public lecture.

Hanna Tillotson, head of lionfish control for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Division of Marine Fisheries Management will be the guest speaker.

The presentation is set for Thursday, September 20 starting at 6:00 PM, with special lionfish events scheduled prior to the lecture from 5:00 to 6:00 PM The event is hosted by the Marine Discovery Center, located at 520 Barracuda Boulevard in New Smyrna Beach.

Tillotson will discuss the species, the lionfish invasion to Florida and its effects on native habitats, statewide control and removal programs, and ways for the public to get involved. She will also display fish harvesting gear, collection techniques, safe handling of the fish’s venomous spines, and will demonstrate how to fillet this fish.

In addition to the lecture at 6:00 PM, the public is invited to participate in pre-lecture activities on the pavilion area outside the back of the building shared by the Marine Discovery Center and The Artists’ Workshop.

Keith Sterner, owner of Sea Dogs Dive Center in New Smyrna Beach, will be present to discuss how local offshore dives help track and eradicate lionfish, which eat critical populations of native juvenile fish.

Sea Dogs will obtain and donate lionfish for the event, which will be served in a sample ceviche prepared by local chef Ryan McClean of the French Quarter Grille restaurant in New Smyrna Beach. Lionfish is a mild white fish that currently is in high demand by top restaurants.

In addition, artists from The Artists’ Workshop will display artwork depicting lionfish and jewelry made from lionfish spines at the event. The public will be able to view the artwork prior to the lecture.

MDC’s September lecture is open to the public at no charge and no reservations are required. Early arrival is recommended for the lionfish sampling prior to the lecture, as well as for the lecture, as seating is limited.

For more information about the lecture, contact the Marine Discovery Center at (386) 428-4828.