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.
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 “.
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”.
It is a peek into the extreme nature of political correctness that is taking over the government of our country. Overly sensitive bureaucrats, apparently just uncomfortable with the name, arbitrarily decided to change it to GoliathGrouper.
With little consideration for tradition, the will of the people, or common sense, the mighty government flexed its nit-picking muscle, and the deed was done. For the lack of any other rational explanation, it would seem apparent that either the word Jew is no longer kosher, or attaching its name to a fish, is offensive to someone.
I was never taught that the word Jew is considered a derogatory, but maybe it’s just because my parents weren’t exposed to the bureaucracy’s sensitivity training courses. Goliath, a Philistine and a Gentile, was the biblical giant slain by a rock from the sling of the young David, a Jew.
But of course, like every other department of our government, fishery managers see political correctness as a serious matter, and find no humor in their lingual contortions. Today we are supposed to call all fishermen by the gender-neutral name of fisher, lest we offend the 1% that are female.
By the same token, if it had been the established Jewish community taking offense at the name Jewish, instead of hypersensitive bureaucrats, I believe everyone would willingly accept the name change. Using power heads and sophisticated dive techniques including deep water nitro gear, they went after Jewish with a vengeance.
In a couple of short years, the stocks were impacted in a way that could never have happened with traditional fishing methods. Once the stocks were reduced beyond profitability, some of those most responsible for the carnage, became the gurus of preservation, and were immediately adopted by fishery managers as their new poster boys.
As far as being professional fishermen, I have only personally known one man who claimed to make a full time, year round living with a spear, but there are surely a few more out there. The overwhelming majority of spear-fishermen that I have come into contact with, are very selective with their shooting and are almost uniformly, environmentally conscious.
Also, unless you make a perfect kill, you can kiss the spear goodbye, as it will likely be ruined in the battle with the huge fish. There has never been enough production to create a real market, and seeing the meat of an occasional 300 lb fish riddled with parasites, is usually enough to permanently discourage a new buyer.
Though commercial boats would sell a Jewish if they caught it on hook and line, it was never a targeted species. The giant slimy fish, could not be placed in the ice boxes along with the other more valuable species, and had to be filleted at sea and sold on the side.
Meanwhile, out in the real world, everyone who spends any time on the ocean, understands that the Jewish stock has exploded. Lobster men release thousands of juveniles, weighing up to 15 lbs apiece from their traps.
We hear of Jewish wiping out every lobster, crab, and juvenile fish, and then taking up residence. For those Cubans and Conchs whose mouths are watering at the thought of once again tasting their traditional favorite; don’t get too excited.
The proof that we see with our own eyes, is purely ‘anecdotal evidence’, and there is no slot for that in the bureaucracy’s laptop programs. Grants must be secured, studies must be commissioned, universities must be notified, environmental groups must weigh in, and all federal and state top level fishery managers must agree to add it to their busy agendas.
Once a sea creature is deemed worthy of a full closure, it falls into an entirely new category. We already see air breathing sea creatures like whales, porpoises and turtles in this category.
Close behind on the new emotional sensitivity scale, are several fish species like shark, sunfish, and Jewish. Soon to follow will be swordfish, marlin, tuna, and any other fish that has a long life span and grows to a large size.
But with the undeniable stock rebound apparent to everyone, it would not surprise me to see the fishery eventually reopened to a very limited recreational take. The bureaucracy will then expect cheers from a grateful public, while they trumpet the success that can come from closing entire fisheries.
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.
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.
Many other fishes around the world are also called Jewish, including some catfish in Australia, the article stated. But in the United States, the Jewish has had proper scientific sanction.