Lionfish are simply magnificent creatures. They’re poisonous enough to make them superb hunters but not poisonous enough to be a threat to humans. Well, not unless you happen to be a kid, old, infirm or allergic to their venom. Unfortunately not a whole lot is known about the species.
The thing that makes it unfortunate and the lionfish really interesting though is their introduction to the environment of the East Coast of the United States and the Caribbean. Accounts vary on whether it was caused by a hurricane that did damage to a local aquarium or some pinheads letting their pets go. In any case they have since spread far and wide. So far in fact that they’ve become a nuisance. Divers have been granted license to kill them even inside wildlife sanctuaries, a historic first. The Reef Environmental Education Foundation has even created a cookbook specifically about lionfish. They’re huge eaters and are pretty much set to destroy all other important lifeforms in the invaded areas.
And that, my friends, provides all kinds of material for a science-fiction story.