Goliath Grouper Video!
During our recent fieldwork in Dry Tortugas National Park, our staff encountered some Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara) hanging out near Garvin.
Goliath Grouper are the largest grouper species in the Atlantic, growing up to eight feet long and weighing as much as 800 lbs. They occupy relatively small home ranges, and can be territorial, particularly of preferred refuges like wrecks or caves--an irritated Goliath Grouper can contract its swim bladder to create a distinctive rumbling sound.
Like many grouper species, Goliath Grouper are what are called "aggregation spawners"--sexually mature individuals gather in large groups (100+ individuals) to reproduce each year. This makes them particularly vulnerable to overfishing during these aggregations, when a large percentage of adult individuals may gather in just a few locations. They used to be so overfished in South Florida that they were considered for listing under the US Endangered Species Act, and harvest of these incredible fish has been prohibited in US Federal waters since 1990.
Leave a Reply.
Partner with us! We are always looking for new schools, scientists, and non-profit organizations to partner with. Please contact us here to start a conversation.
Hear from us! Sign up for our newsletter to hear about what is happening at Field School as well as upcoming offers and specials.