It is a predatory reef fish which is found in the Western Atlantic Ocean. The marbled grouper has a body which is at least twice as deep as its standard length which is at its deepest at the origin of the dorsal fin and laterally compressed.
It has a long snout and the dorsal profile of the head is steep. The adults are yellowish brown marked with numerous small dark brown spots on the head, body and fins and pale blotches on the head and body.
The juveniles are dark brown through to black, marked with an irregular scattering of white blotches on the head and body. It attains a maximum recorded total length of 91 centimeters (36 in) and a maximum weight of 10 kilograms (22 lb), although 50 centimeters (20 in) is a more common length.
It is a solitary species which is secretive, nervously darting off when it is approached or threatened. Its biology is little known but it is assumed that it forms aggregations for spawning like other groupers.
The juveniles have been observed hiding among the spines of sea urchins. Exploitation of spawning aggregations may me a threat to some populations.
The IUCN classify it as Data Deficient due to a lack of information on its population. The population of this naturally rare and sparsely distributed species is, however, suspected to be decreasing.
U.S. wild-caught black grouper is a smart seafood choice because it is sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations. Fishing gears used to harvest black grouper have minimal impacts on habitat.
Black grouper are found in the western Atlantic from Massachusetts to Brazil. They are particularly associated with the southern Gulf of Mexico, Florida Keys, Cuba, the Bahamas, and throughout the Caribbean.
Both the commercial and recreational fisheries have size limits to reduce harvest of immature black grouper. The commercial and recreational fishing seasons are closed from January through April to protect black grouper during their peak spawning period.
Minimum size limits protect immature black grouper. Year-round and/or seasonal area closures for commercial and recreational sectors to protect spawning groupers.
Groupers are managed separately by commercial and recreational sector in Puerto Rico. Seasonal closure for black, red, tiger, yellow fin, and yellow edge groupers from February 1 through April 30.
Rocks is a dive to explore different large blocks of coral at about 25 minutes navigation north-east inside the atoll. First channel north of Kanifushi, at 15 min navigation.
About 1 hour navigation northwards along the edge of the atoll, after the local island of Warfare. At about 50 minutes navigation north of Kanifushi, the site is the reef enclosing the local island of Warfare, capital of Shavian atoll.
This dive site is about 40 minutes east of Kanifushi Island. Very western end of Kanifushi house reef, reachable in no more than 15 min by boat.
A big reef after the local island of Medicare, about 50 min by boat, in the northern part of the atoll. Out reef of the atoll at the inhabited Each Island, south of Warfare.
The fish was seen cruising a turtle grass flat on the back of a Nurse shark. Tom made the cast just off the shark and a few quick strips later he got the bite.
A few sizeable Blue fin Really were also landed including Sean’s 78 cm fish and Mary 72 cm. The Triggers were around in solid numbers as we saw many tailing all over the atoll, 8 were hooked and 3 landed.
This tank was spotted tailing hard over a patch of turtle grass during a surf walk. The Bumpier were scattered throughout the week and although we managed to hook 5 we unfortunately were only able to convert 1 fish.
After plenty of perseverance, Verdi got his first Bumpier, a 90 cm fish that was tailing on a turtle grass section close to the surf. The big fish was landed during a surf walk after Sean spotted the fishtailing in the swell all on its own.
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