When the time to reproduce comes, Goliath groupers come together in large groups that are rarely made up of less than a hundred individuals. In other words, the Goliath groupers 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.
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).
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). 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. Age, Growth, and Reproduction of Jewish Epimetheus Tamara in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
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.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering opening up a limited Goliath grouper season for the first time in nearly 30 years. It's gone,” said Dave Westley, owner of Lear's Economy Tackle in North Fort Myers.
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. They hunt and live near reefs and submerged ships and other man-made structures and are easily enticed by pretty much any type of bait.
Once found from North Carolina to Texas, this species now ranges from Florida to Brazil and throughout the Caribbean Sea, 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 is a family of fish that can reach sizes of up to 500 pounds.
Goliath and other larger grouper, however, have tougher meat that is best used in chowders and stews. While Goliathgroupercan only be caught and released in the United States, there are many Asian countries that allow free-for-all fishing of these whoppers.
Remove the scales of the fish on both sides by sliding the knife from the head, below the gills all the way down to the tail. Groupers are generally a friendly species and can be found patrolling artificial and coral reefs alike, primarily in shallow tropical waters.
Goliath groupers navigate to an annual spawning for breeding, the season and location varies depending on the population. In Florida, hatchlings join their brethren in safe spaces near coastal mangrove estuaries and spend their first six years of life dining exclusively on fish, crabs, and shrimp before heading out to open waters.
The Goliath grouper grows slowly, attaining maturity around age 20-25, which is why it is important to manage fishing of the species; they need the chance to reach adulthood to reproduce in order to create a sustainable fishery. The Goliath grouper is a key species in Florida waters because their presence is an indicator of health for local coral reefs.
This particular species feeds by swallowing their prey whole, creating negative pressure that quickly them to bring in whole invertebrates, fish, and even smaller sharks. Many grouper, manatees, and turtles were found washed ashore on Southwest Florida beaches during the red tides in 2003 and 2005.
The good news is that as of 2006 the Goliath grouper ’s population had improved and was considered to be on a recovery trajectory due to the careful protection by NOAA Fisheries.