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John Mirabella, owner of off-the-beaten-path Castaway Waterfront Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Marathon, could well be called the “Lionfish King” of the Florida Keys.

John is recognized throughout the universe of lionfish for spearheading efforts to remove the voracious and wildly invasive non-native species from Keys waters.

Marathon Castaway Restaurant lionfish sushi
John’s Castaway Waterfront Restaurant & Sushi Bar is deservedly famous for its innovative preparations of lionfish, like the sushi roll displayed here. (Photo courtesy of the Castaway)

The affable natural storyteller is known as a pioneering lionfish hunter and for the ways he cooks it up — “wreckdiver style” (cooked in white wine with lemon, capers, tomatoes, garlic and fresh herbs), served as sushi (yummm!) or in a Benedict dish.

“People want lionfish,” John said. “They’re coming to search for it. Some people actually plan their vacations around what they’re going to eat.”

Castaway’s extensive menu typically includes nine species of fish, all fresh off the boat.

John purchased Marathon’s oldest restaurant Feb. 16, 2000, when it was a 40-seat screened-in porch. Today the 150-seat eatery has three seating venues: Tiki-covered, waterside outdoor dining and air-conditioned waterfront dining areas.

See full article here: https://fla-keys.com/keysvoices/john-mirabella-steward-of-keys-lionfish-removal/