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Are Goliath Groupers Good To Eat

author
Paul Gonzalez
• Friday, 20 November, 2020
• 8 min read

Goliath groupers are extremely large saltwater fishes of the grouper family that can grow over 8ft in length and weigh up to 800lbs, hence the name. Which, along with their size, made them a prime target for fishmongers and caused their population to drastically decrease, so much so that in 1990 the US had to put a harvest ban on the species with the Caribbean following suit in 1993, and Brazil in 2002.

grouper goliath fish florida groupers harvest they catch jewfish keys flickr fishermen very anglers pay much want gather afraid aren
(Source: magazine.fishsens.com)

Contents

And while this means throughout most of the year the numbers of goliathgroupers sticking together in any one place is quite low, they are still easy targets due to the way they reproduce. In other words, the goliathgroupers utilize the same few places and same few days a year to spawn, which makes them predictable, and thus, easy targets for fisherman looking to catch them.

Since the distinct taste is giant grouper’s biggest charm, it’s better to cook it in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the fish with other ingredients. You’ll only need fresh and cleaned grouper fillets, a lemon, and an Italian seasoning mix along with some salt and pepper.

Put a generous amount of salt and pepper on both sides of the fish, lay the fillets out on the foil drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkle Italian seasoning on top. Rub salt and pepper over the fillets, lightly dust with flour, and fry in butter and olive oil (yes, both) for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Squeeze some lemon over it when you flip the fish (be careful because the juice will start bubbling when it hits the heat). Sear the grouper in a pan, cut the fillets into small cubes, and lay them over the pasta.

Off the water, he enjoys blogging and sharing his favorite fishing tips & tricks that he has learned over the years. Anglers may soon get their chance to take home one of the great leviathans of the sea: the Goliath grouper.

(Source: eatthatfish.com)

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering opening up a limited Goliath grouper season for the first time in nearly 30 years. A slot is a designated minimum and maximum size that's used to ensure that the larger breeding population is not overfished.

FCC staff proposed a maximum $300 tag and no harvest of the species during the spawning season, which runs from July through September. The staff also recommended a slot of 47 to 67 inches, which means fish must measure between those two numbers in order to be kept legally.

“Staff was directed to gather public input on a potential limited harvest of Goliath grouper and bring those comments back before the commission in late 2017,” Amanda Valley, with FCC, wrote in an email to The News-Press. Westley remembers times when fishermen would carry Goliath grouper fillets in wheelbarrows and slice them up into tiny bits that would later be fried.

The goal of the FCC proposal is to allow a limited fishing season that won't impact the rate of recovery the species has enjoyed over the past 20 years. Florida made it illegal to keep Goliath grouper in 1990, and the species was listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as critically endangered in 1994.

Goliath grouper are also susceptible to large events like red tide and seasonal cold fronts, according to FCC. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will hold a public input meeting regarding Goliath grouper management in Naples from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Collier County Public Library on Oct. 18 and from 5-8 p.m. at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte on Oct. 17.

grouper goliath fishing miami charters report florida
(Source: floridafishingreport.net)

The Atlantic Goliath grouper 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). 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 goliathgroupers 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 Goliath grouper 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.

eat fishing fish giant grouper goliath funny tries huge fisherman chew fl
(Source: www.youtube.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 Goliath grouper 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 Goliath grouper has historically been referred to as the “Jewish”.

grouper shark goliath eats florida pound he caught fishing fishermen sucked shocked massive kills eaten sharks fox being eat groupers
(Source: www.foxnews.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. 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 Goliath Grouper / Jewish Fishing with Capt.

fish grouper goliath eat fail
(Source: www.youtube.com)

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 GoliathGroupers. 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 / goliathgroupers are eating the grouper and snapper on bottom structure or wrecks that they live on and must be eradicated.

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.

He used to say that the Jewish / Goliath groupers were eating all the grouper and snapper on the spots where he was finding them. 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.

grouper goliath dead historic protection irl happen kill ready again easy stuart tag archives fl thurlow jacquithurlowlippisch lucie
(Source: jacquithurlowlippisch.com)

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.

Jewish / goliathGroupers were here coexisting with grouper and snapper long before we got a taste for either species. As predators, they see an opportunity to feed and get trained to the grouper eating the bait and struggling.

The Jewish / Goliath grouper was just taking advantage of a situation. So saying Jewish / Goliath grouper need to be eradicated for eating our fish we catch, is kinda dumb.

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.

grouper goliath fishing sanibel captiva saturday charlie captivafishing
(Source: captivafishing.net)

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).

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Sources
1 www.myrecipes.com - https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/pan-seared-grouper-balsamic-brown-butter-sauce
2 www.allrecipes.com - https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/19517/super-grouper/
3 www.yummly.com - https://www.yummly.com/recipes/grouper-with-sauce
4 www.gritsandpinecones.com - https://www.gritsandpinecones.com/easy-pan-seared-grouper-with-gremolata/
5 livewellnetwork.com - http://livewellnetwork.com/My-Family-Recipe-Rocks/recipes/Sauteed-Florida-Grouper/9543274
6 saucygirlskitchen.com - http://saucygirlskitchen.com/2012/01/03/smokey-grouper-with-spinach/
7 dadamo.com - https://dadamo.com/recipes/recipe_depictor.pl
8 recipeforperfection.com - https://recipeforperfection.com/seared-grouper-cheeks-recipe/
9 www.themediterraneandish.com - https://www.themediterraneandish.com/baked-grouper-recipe/
10 www.yummly.co.uk - https://www.yummly.co.uk/recipes/grouper-fillets