Fish leather is here, it’s sustainable – and it’s made from invasive species to boot
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Aarav Chavda has been diving off the coast of Florida for years. Each time he became increasingly depressed by the ever-growing void, as colourful species of fish and coral reefs continued to disappear.
A significant reason for that disappearance is the lionfish, an invasive species that has boomed in Atlantic waters from Florida to the Caribbean in recent decades, and in numerous other places from Brazil and Mexico to the Mediterranean.
Lionfish have no natural predators outside their native range – in the Indian and Pacific Oceans and the Red Sea – and are all-consuming, devouring an estimated 79% of young marine life within five weeks of entering a coral reef system. “You can see the impacts on the reefs when you dive now – it’s less vibrant, it’s less cacophonous,” Chavda said. “We know there are solutions for some of the problems – such as coral-friendly sunscreens to help protect the reefs – but nobody’s been able to do anything about the lionfish.”
So Chavda and a team of ecologically aware fellow scuba enthusiasts decided to act by establishing Inversa, which turns lionfish into a new product: fish leather. On Wednesday, World Oceans Day, the team was recognised as one of nine finalists in the Global Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge (Oric).
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June 21, 2022 at 9:34 PM #492383djean111Participant
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Also, the lionfish is venomous, not poisonous, only the tips of the barbs have poison, the rest of the fish is fine to eat.
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