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Do Goliath Groupers Eat Humans

author
David Lawrence
• Saturday, 28 November, 2020
• 8 min read

While diving in 80-foot deep waters off the coast of Jupiter, Florida, spear fisherman Arif Saber had a standoff with a seemingly fearless and ferocious Goliath grouper, which Grind TV estimated was 300- to 400-pounds. Saber had just caught a lesser amber jack with his spearfish gun, he told Grind TV, when he noticed the large grouper eyeing him and closing the distance in between them.

goliath grouper scared humans should nice
(Source: animalbreeze.com)

Contents

The video, shot by his wife using a GoPro 3, shows the hefty fish as he nips at the man's flipper, tearing it off, and then goes straight for his catch with its powerful jaw. These sizable fish can pack at least three to five rows of sharp teeth in its lower jaw, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.

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.

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.

(Source: thebefarmed.wordpress.com)

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. However, during reproduction (immediately after the full moons between June and December), they come together in groups of at least 100 individuals.

These groups are known as spawning aggregations, and they form at relatively few places throughout the species’ range. Though they were likely naturally rare, scientists believe that destructive fishing practices have reduced the numbers of the Atlantic goliathgroupers by at least 80% and that the species is now critically endangered.

These fish utilize the same, few locations and same, few days for spawning every year, so their presence is quite predictable. Furthermore, a total lack of fear of people makes them an easy target for spear fishers.

Finally, the Atlantic Goliath grouper’s large size, slow growth, and ease of capture all contribute to slow its recovery, even where laws have been put in place to give it some or complete legal protection from fishing (e.g., in the USA and Brazil). It is important to continue to monitor Atlantic Goliath grouper population trends in order to determine whether the species is recovering or if stronger legal protection may be required.

grouper goliath friendly deb menu fish scubaverse
(Source: animalbreeze.com)

The two species are similar in both appearance and behavior, but little is known about the population trends or conservation status of the Pacific Goliath grouper. The Goliath Grouper (formerly known as the Jewish) all-tackle world record was set back in 1961, in Fernanda Beach, FL…that fish was a colossal 680 POUNDS.

So now that we’ve established their impressive size, it’s easy to question why in the hell a spear fishermen would get so close to one out in open water. If that dinosaur didn’t come along and try to swallow that guy whole maybe a bull shark would have swum by for a tasty (bloody) treat.

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 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.

(Source: puppyartbybelle.blogspot.com)

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. 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.

grouper biggest
(Source: the-biggest.net)

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”. 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.

grouper goliath shark eats bite pound apost
(Source: www.apost.com)

I learned about it from a buddy diver who excitedly told me to go diving with him upon a prompt from a classmate in high school who happened to be the mayor of that town. Probably, I am lucky that the Goliath grouper (Epimetheus quinquefasciatus) I encountered several minutes when I plunged into the water was still a juvenile.

I brought with me my automatic Nikon camera encased in a plastic casing to make it water-resistant as taking pictures is a pleasure for me each time I travel. I grabbed the camera hanging by a tough nylon string around my wrist, and took a video of the Goliath grouper following my buddy.

Despite the huge size of the Goliath grouper, they seem to be docile fishes although there are reports that they do attack humans. I saw one video that says so but analyzing the situation, I thought the reason was mainly to feed, not really to attack.

The moving fins attracted the grouper thinking probably that it was its prey and snapped on it. When the juveniles are older, they migrate to the coral reefs and stay there for more than 40 years.

Life cycle of the Goliath grouper (Illustration by Jane Hakka, IAN Image Library (ian.umces.edu/imagelibrary/) The nearshore environment is a fragile one that should be protected or conserved considering the highly complex life that intertwine in mangrove ecosystems.

goliath grouper feed does defeat sharks
(Source: animalbreeze.com)

The Goliath grouper is only one of the rich diversity of life that support man. About The Author Regional, Patrick Dr. Patrick A. Regional mentored graduate and undergraduate students for more than two decades and engaged in various university and externally-funded national and international research projects as a consultant.

Related to his blogging and book writing venture, he taught himself HTML, CSS, SEO, LyX/LaTeX, GIMP, and Inkscape to edit SVG, JPEG, and PNG files and WordPress. systems analysis using Stella, ENSIM, and Sesame; CGIS mapping, SCUBA diving for work and pleasure.

He likes running 2-3 miles, 3-4 times a week thus finished a 21K in 2019, and recently learned to cook at home due to COVID-19.

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Sources
1 myfwc.com - https://myfwc.com/license/recreational/do-i-need-one/
2 fishingbooker.com - https://fishingbooker.com/blog/florida-fishing-license/
3 www.frvta.org - https://www.frvta.org/visitors-need-license-fish-florida/
4 www.eregulations.com - http://www.eregulations.com/florida/fishing/saltwater/licenses-permits/
5 myfwc.com - https://myfwc.com/license/recreational/visitors/
6 myfwc.com - https://myfwc.com/license/recreational/saltwater-fishing/