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Goliath Grouper Killed

author
David Lawrence
• Saturday, 26 December, 2020
• 7 min read

So the announcement this week that the 5½-foot-long, 300-pound grouper had died was met with hundreds of condolences on the aquarium's Facebook page. “We are saddened to announce the loss our beloved goliathgrouper Cleats after succumbing to a prolonged illness,” posted The Florida Aquarium.

grouper giant killed hand
(Source: www.projectaware.org)

Contents

“Cleats was one of the most recognizable animals at the Florida Aquarium, coming eye to bulging eye with millions of guests since day one,” said Florida Aquarium president and CEO Roger German Tuesday. As of Wednesday, 360 people had posted comments about Cleats on the aquarium's Facebook page including former employees and volunteers who had close contact with the giant fish.

And when I brought my granddaughter there in her marathon Bubble Guppies days, she immediately said, 'It’s Mr. Grouper !'” “We are so sad,” said PIL Cliff, posting various photos from over the years of her children with Cleats.

After being closed for nearly two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Florida Aquarium, 705 Channel side Drive, announced it will reopen Friday, May 15, with limited attendance and programming, along with new standard operating procedures and enhanced health and safety measures to safeguard guests, staff and animals. “We are grateful for The Florida Aquarium's continued support to protect the health and safety of those in our community.

By implementing added safety measures and capacity limits, The Florida Aquarium is taking a smart and phased approach to reopening responsibly,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. “I urge visitors to practice safe social distancing, wash your hands, wear a face-covering in congested areas, and keep the health of our vulnerable neighbors in mind.

Along with attendance limits that support physical distancing, other health and safety initiatives include online ticket sales only, touchless transactions, staff required to wear masks in public spaces and enhanced cleaning methods. Several interactive experiences, such as the outdoor play area and animal touch exhibits, will remain temporarily closed.

grouper giant hand killed aware take week projectaware
(Source: www.projectaware.org)

From conducting a deep clean of all exhibits to removing unnecessary touchpoints to requiring online ticket sales, The Florida Aquarium is well-prepared to provide a safe, clean and fun experience for our guests,” said Andy Wood, The Florida Aquarium chief operating officer. “Humans and the natural world are more disconnected than ever, especially during the ‘safer at home’ timeframe, and studies show that the human-animal-nature bond plays a role supporting public health,” German said.

“A visit to The Florida Aquarium is good for mental and emotional well-being, and we are ready to welcome our guests back to provide these positive health benefits.” The Facebook posts show a protected Goliath grouper being filleted, a batch of undersized lobster on the grill and an undersized nurse shark placed in a swimming pool that is treated with chlorine at his vacation rental in Marathon, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

State fish and wildlife police arrested a man they said killed a federally protected Goliath grouper while on vacation in the Florida Keys in August 2020. In this screenshot, the man is seen with a Goliath grouper, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Garrison told police he didn’t know the big fish he filleted was a Goliath grouper, a species that has been protected in state and federal waters off Florida since 1990. A young boy dives and grabs the nurse shark and brings it to a man on the deck, who shows it to some people.

“The shark is extremely sluggish and close to near death,” the FCC report states. After watching the nurse shark video, Dire checked out the rest of Garrison’s Keys posts and said he found evidence of the lobster and Goliath grouper violations.

grouper killed giant hand projectaware
(Source: www.projectaware.org)

She was part of the staff at the New Orleans Times-Picayune that in 2005 won two Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of Hurricane Katrina. 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 goliathgrouper, 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. 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.

But, even if the diver wasn't familiar with that specific size of this type of fish, Goliath groupers have been known to roam western Atlantic waters near Florida. A recent snapper-fishing expedition off Florida became far more thrilling after a massive goliathgrouper devoured a hooked snapper.

Hare and his charter group from Louisiana were fishing June 28 off Destiny when the estimated 350-pound grouper struck. The grouper released its grip on the snapper after 15 minutes and it was reeled up without any scales.

Hunter Wane ck and Becca Parker pose alongside grouper. “I was absolutely shocked on how big it was, and I couldn’t believe we caught him on such small tackle,” Hare, 27, told For The Win Outdoors.

grouper giant hand killed projectaware
(Source: www.projectaware.org)

Hare told Northwest Florida Daily News that the grouper ripped 100 to 200 yards of line from the spool during repeated runs, and that the photos do not do the fish justice in terms of its size. The lucky anglers were Hunter Wane ck (pictured, blue shirt), Becca Parker and Charlie Regain.

The 42-year-old man, whose name was withheld, was free-diving in about 25 feet of water off the lower Florida Keys Saturday and speared a GoliathGrouper, Monroe County Sheriff's Detective Mark Coleman said. Police divers found the speared fish tightly wedged into the hole, with the man's body still tangled in the line, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

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 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.

giant grouper killed hand projectaware
(Source: www.projectaware.org)

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.

goliath grouper
(Source: www.flickr.com)

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”.

grouper goliath biggest caught ever getzone fishing
(Source: www.getzone.com)

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”.

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