Are Goliath Grouper Jewfish

Brent Mccoy
• Sunday, 08 November, 2020
• 9 min read

Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Performed Family: Serranidae Subfamily: Epinephrine Genus: Epimetheus Species: Binomial name Epimetheus Tamara Synonyms Promiscuous Tamara (Lichtenstein, 1822) Serra nus Tamara Lichtenstein, 1822 Serra nus Menelik Valentines, 1828 Serra nus gales J.P. Müller & Trochee, 1848 Serra nus guava Play, 1860 Promiscuous one Ehrenberg, 1915 Promiscuous ditto Roux & Collision, 1954 The Atlantic goliathgrouper or Tamara (Epimetheus Tamara), also known as the Jewish, is a large saltwater fish of the grouper family found primarily in shallow tropical waters among coral and artificial reefs at depths from 5 to 50 m (16 to 164 ft).

jewfish grouper goliath fish florida fishing keys catcher bad feisty creatures fabulous releasing charters capt steven lamp dream
(Source: thefloridakeysfishingreport.com)


Its range includes the Florida Keys in the US, the Bahamas, most of the Caribbean and most of the Brazilian coast. On some occasions, it is caught off the coasts of the US states of New England off Maine and Massachusetts.

In the eastern Atlantic Ocean, it occurs from the Congo to Senegal. Young Atlantic Goliath groupers may live in brackish estuaries, oyster beds, canals, and mangrove swamps, which is unusual behavior among groupers.

They may reach extremely large sizes, growing to lengths up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) and can weigh as much as 360 kg (790 lb). The world record for a hook-and-line-captured specimen is 308.44 kg (680.0 lb), caught off Fernanda Beach, Florida, in 1961.

Considered of fine food quality, Atlantic goliathgrouper were a highly sought-after quarry for fishermen. It is a relatively easy prey for spear fishermen because of the grouper's inquisitive and generally fearless nature.

They also tend to spawn in large aggregations, returning annually to the same locations. This makes them particularly vulnerable to mass harvesting while breeding.

grouper goliath florida lose protection catch www2 padi usa
(Source: www2.padi.com)

Until a harvest ban was placed on the species, its population was in rapid decline. The fish is recognized as “vulnerable” globally and “endangered” in the Gulf of Mexico.

The species' population has been recovering since the ban; with the fish's slow growth rate, however, some time will be needed for populations to return to their previous levels. Goliath groupers are believed to be protogynous hermaphrodites, which refer to organisms that are born female and at some point in their lifespans change sex to male.

Males can be sexually mature at about 115 centimeters (45 in), and ages 4–6 years. In May 2015, the Atlantic goliathgrouper was successfully bred in captivity for the first time.

Tidal pools act as nurseries for juvenile E. Tamara. In tidal pools juvenile E.Tamara are able to utilize rocky crevices for shelter.

Besides shelter, tidal pools provide E. Tamara with plenty of prey such as lobster and porcelain crab. The Atlantic goliathgrouper has historically been referred to as the Jewish “.

jewfish grouper goliath fishing bridge monster
(Source: www.youtube.com)

It may have referred to the fish's status as inferior leading it to be declared only suitable for Jews, or the flesh having a “clean” taste comparable to kosher food ; it has also been suggested that this name is simply a corruption of jaw fish or the Italian word for “bottom fish”, Giuseppe. In 2001, the American Fisheries Society stopped using the term because of complaints that it was culturally insensitive.

^ Lovato, Cleo nice Maria Cardozo; Soars, Bruno Clears; Begot, Tiago Octavio Buffalo; Montage, Luciano Coach de Assis (January 2016). “Tidal pools as habitat for juveniles of the Goliath grouper Epimetheus Tamara (Lichtenstein 1822) in the Amazonian coastal zone, Brazil”.

Risky, Delaney C.; Bakenhaster, Micah D.; Adams, Douglas H. (2015). “ Pseudorhabdosynochus species (Monogenoidea, Diplectanidae) parasitizing groupers (Serranidae, Epinephrine, Epinephrine) in the western Atlantic Ocean and adjacent waters, with descriptions of 13 new species”.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Epimetheus Tamara. Epimetheus Tamara may be a widespread, slow growing, and aggregating species that has undergone vital population reduction over the past three generations (40.5 years) calculable to be a minimum of 80th based on landings information and underwater visual censuses.

Despite clear and promising signs of recovery in us waters following the 1990 moratorium, the will increase in numbers noted area unit young and juvenile fish (the species takes five to six years to become sexually mature). The goliathgrouper occurs within the western Atlantic Ocean from Florida south to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and also the Caribbean Sea.

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(Source: funnyjunk.com)

This marine fish inhabits shallow, inshore waters with mud, rock or coral bottoms and is infrequently found below depths of 46 meters. It’s territorial close to areas of refuge like caves, wrecks, and ledges, displaying an open mouth and quivering body to intruders.

These teams occur at consistent sites like wrecks, rock ledges and isolated patch reefs during July, August and September. Studies have shown fish could move up to 62 miles (100 km) from inshore reefs to these spawning sites.

In southwest Florida, plausible entreaty behavior has been observed during the complete moons in August and September. Occurring in shallow, inshore waters to depths of 150 feet (46 m), the Epimetheus Tamara prefers areas of rock, coral, and mud bottoms.

It’s a classic apex predator, large, rare and solely some people occur on any given reef unit. As with other fish, the Atlantic goliathgrouper is the host of several species of parasites, including the diplectanid monogenean Pseudorhabdosynochus Americans on its gills.

Calico crabs frame the bulk of their diet, with alternative invertebrate species and fish filling within the rest. Goliath grouper feed mostly on crustaceans (in particular spiny lobsters, shrimps and crabs), fishes (including stingrays and parrot fishes), octopus, and young ocean turtles.

grouper goliath fish atlantic jewfish epinephelus itajara alamy
(Source: www.alamy.com)

The committee's basic guidelines point out that names must be in good taste and can't be offensive. It is offensive to many people,” said Dr. Gary Grossman, professor of fish ecology at the University of Georgia, “The response (to a name-change petition) was very strong.

Grossman and more than 40 other scientists and supporters submitted their petition to the names' committee in December, a month before the committee finalized its newest volume of common names. The reference book is published every 10 years and is due in print by the end of 2001.

The name was changed to pike minnow in 1998 because a group of Native Americans felt it was derogatory toward women. Grossman contacted committee members and shared some many negative emails he received about the name from eminent scientists.

He presented historical arguments contained in a 1996 article published in the Tropical Fish Hobbyist headlined: The Trouble with Jewish or What's in a Name? The article, written by Richard G. Gould and James W. ATZ, states in the first paragraph: Jewish is a controversial name.

The authors cite sources that date the name to 17th century Jamaica. Those sources claim the name was penned because the fish had both fins and scales and was thus kosher and eaten by Jamaican Jews.

grouper goliath endangered florida critically protect save killing ocean mission
(Source: mission-blue.org)

Nelson quickly pointed out that the fish is not named after the biblical Philistine Goliath who was slain by David. The Spanish mackerel, the black grouper, the hagfish, the whitefish?...

Special note : I have been calling Goliath groupers Jewish all my life since I was able to talk. Jewish are members of the Sea Bass family and not really a grouper at all.

Dream Catcher Charters Releasing a GoliathGrouper / Jewish Fishing with Capt. Lately I hear more and more how fellow captains, guides and anglers want there to be a lift on the moratorium preventing the harvest of Jewish or Goliath Groupers.

Ideas such as buy a tag to kill one or a slot size for a one per harvester limit. All good ideas but the reasons they come up with these desires to kill this species of fish are not what you might think.

They want to kill them because they think the jew fish / Goliath groupers are eating the grouper and snapper on bottom structure or wrecks that they live on and must be eradicated. Back in the 70s my father used to kill Jewish / goliathgrouper every weekend.

goliath groupers grouper florida endangered critically protect killing mission mag stearns walt
(Source: mission-blue.org)

He has probably killed well over 200 of these beasts up and down the west coast of Florida off of all the major wrecks of the day from 45 to 150 ft of water. His reasons were similar but back then, he was able to sell them to local fish houses and restaurants, so there was an added benefit.

In hindsight my father an avid spear fisherman in the day will tell you he was wrong. It was not the Jewish / Goliath groupers killing the fish it was the more and more spear fishermen and fisherman that were doing it as popularity of these sports was just dawning.

Grouper were being shot and caught in sizes not since seen in shallow close to port destinations not seen since. My dad has shared with me spots where he would shoot large grouper back in the early 70s where now, there is nothing.

His dad used to catch nice sized 30 lb black grouper in coca Grande channel in the 40s and 50s every weekend, in numbers that would match a long liner today in 250 feet of water. As predators, they see an opportunity to feed and get trained to the grouper eating the bait and struggling.

So saying Jewish / goliathgrouper need to be eradicated for eating our fish we catch, is kinda dumb. Make the tag a decent value to the state, yet affordable for the anglers.

grouper goliath giant fish shark massive endangered bite single species diver jewfish key largo ocean atlantic
(Source: abcnews.go.com)

Some angler gets his ego on by catching a monster and many people eat some nice files for dinner. The state gets the money to put toward managing the resource keeping us all in line.

I would like to think fishermen are self manageable but that's just not the case, Myself included we have all over harvested at one point in our lives or another. These smaller fish are awesome fun on live bait, chug plug or fly.

Weighing around 8 – 25 lbs these fish put up a strong fishy and easy to release and eat the next day for another client (renewable resource). We know where Goliath Groupers / Jewish live off of Key West if you would ever like to go visit one.

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1 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_goliath_grouper
2 www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu - https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/discover-fish/species-profiles/epinephelus-itajara/
3 myfwc.com - https://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/goliath/