The lionfish is one of the most beautiful species of fish in the world, but it is also one of the most destructive – and invasive species throughout the Caribbean, the lionfish feeds on a wide array of local fish, and has pushed some Dominican species to the brink of extinction.
The Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve has launched an awareness program that aims to alert the general public and tourists to dangers of the lionfish, which includes encouraging local fishermen to catch lionfish in lieu of other popular species (parrot fish, snappers, etc) and then sell to hotels and local restaurants; as of late 2014, you can find lionfish on menus at Bamboo, where it is gaining traction as a local delicacy. Visitors to the preserve can purchase taxidermy lionfish as a souvenir, with proceeds from sales going to local workers, and eradication programs.
On your next trip to Punta Cana, try and tame a lion. The locals will thank you for it.