Colorful lionfish, native to the Pacific Ocean, have a voracious appetite. In recent times they've been taking over Caribbean waters, where they wreak havoc on the reef ecosystems. (No one is sure how they got there, but the leading theory is that the fish were dumped out in the sea by aquarium owners). To combat this problem, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)advocated eating lionfish to help get rid of them. Yes, these fish have venomous spines, NOAA officials admitted, but if you removed those, the fish were quite delectable and safe to eat [source: Aleccia].
Don't be quick to follow NOAA's advice. Some 200 lionfish were tested in 2010 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the NOAA issued its proclamation, and more than 25 percent were found to have unsafe levels of a toxin that can cause ciguatera, a fish-based food poisoning. If you nosh on lionfish, you risk not only the typical food poisoning symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue), but also neurological problems. The latter includes tingling in the hands and feet, the feeling that your teeth are loose and a reversed sense of temperature [source: Aleccia].
Don't think ciguatera is an anomaly, either. About 50,000 cases of ciguatera are reported annually around the globe, although experts say the true figure could be as much as 100 times higher [source: Aleccia].