Lion fish are graceful beautiful fish. I’ve kept them for years as aquarium pets. They are incredible hunters. The moment of attack is one of the fastest recorded in the animal kingdom. They open their moths with such speed that the prey (usually fish or shrimp) are sucked into their mouths with the rush of water.
They are also amongst the most poisonous fish in the ocean. The poison is in the needle like spines along their back (dorsal fin). The poison is only used for defense.
Because of the poison, lion fish have few natural predators. They are an invasive species that is growing out of control.
If you catch a lion fish kill it. Be careful of the spines and kill it. Lion fish are delicious and healthy. They are richer in Omega 3 fatty acids, lower in saturated fats, and lower in heavy metal like mercury, than other fish. If you don’t want to taste this exotic fish, then throw it back. Once dead, other reef fish enjoy eating lion fish.
But whatever you do, kill it.