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”.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Epimetheus Tamara. Trying to catch a big goliathgrouper on a rod and reel will leave you sweating and out of breath.
Stanley, 72, who owns Bud N’ Mary’s Marina in Islamabad, has caught hundreds of Goliath groupers up to 500 pounds -- and he is not exaggerating. Brian Sanders of Davie once took former Miami Dolphins All-Pro linebacker Zach Thomas and former professional wrestling star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson fishing out of Chokoloskee Island for Goliath groupers in the Gulf of Mexico.
It turned out to be a sort of tag-team event for the two powerful, physically fit athletes when they hooked what Sanders estimated to be Goliath of 300 or more pounds. “There was so much drag on the reel, the fish would run and it would almost lift the person overboard.
Stanley said he wouldn’t use anything less than an 80-pound reel filled with 100-pound line to catch a big Goliath. The reason for the heavy tackle is to keep a big fish from easily pulling the line off the reel as it heads for the nearest wreck.
The greater the strength of the line, the more pressure an angler can put on a fish. Stanley has caught Goliath on everything from sharks and cobras to Spanish mackerel and large crevasse jacks.
Sanders, who’s caught Goliath on mackerel, 5- to 10-pound jacks, half a barracuda and even a spade fish, uses 9-0 to 12-0 hooks, which are typically used to catch marlin and sharks. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet on Feb. 8 and 9 in Crystal River to discuss various ecological issues that must be addressed in 2018, including biological survey results of the Goliath grouper.
The outcome could possibly take the form of a small fishing season that would allow people to deplete the numbers of the Goliath grouper for a short period of time, but changes wouldn't be put into effect until December at the earliest. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes.
They typically remain solitary and live in deeper water but, when spawning, Goliath groupers can be seen in large aggregations off the Florida coast. It was labeled commercially extinct in the late 1980s and, in 1990, a federal and state fishing ban on the species was implemented in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
This law meant that if anyone caught a goliathgrouper, they had to immediately return it to the water free, alive, and unharmed. Now, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FCC) is considering changing its management strategy for the Atlantic goliathgrouper.
Scientific population models analyzed by the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (Sedan) in 2016, suggest that the relative stock abundance has been declining since 2012. These models suggest that the population is no longer in “overfished condition” and its decline is thought to be the result of temperature changes and harmful algal blooms.
Another possible change would allow a slot limit catch of 120-170 cm (45-65 in) TL, which are young individuals (5-7 years old) that have only recently reached sexual maturity. We think that slot limits are a poor choice as they reduce the number of individuals that grow large, which could become the most prolific spawners and boost population recovery.
These management changes come from local fishermen’s concern that allowing goliathgrouper populations to increase would result in fewer fish and lobsters of commercial and recreational value. In their 2011 study co-authored with Kelly Klingon, Coleman and Koenig also point out that, “the indigenous goliathgrouper has a positive effect on the biodiversity and abundance of associated reef fishes, a result expected from principles of evolutionary ecology.” Therefore, healthy goliathgrouper populations are important to both the Florida marine ecosystem and economy.
Goliath groupers are also susceptible to large scale mortality events, like harmful algal blooms and changes in temperature. Due to their cold sensitivity, the goliathgrouper ’s range is restricted to southern and deeper waters where temperatures remain more stable around 15°.
Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Japan Taylor now has an epic fish tale to tell his teammates when practice and the new NFL season returns this year. A viral video posted Thursday shows the football player using everything he has to reel in the monster fish.
ABOVE VIDEO: A group of fisherman off the coast of Bonita Springs, Florida, caught a 5-foot shark this month and were just about ready to haul in their catch, were stunned when a Goliath grouper appeared out of nowhere to swallowing it whole. This photo of an enormous GoliathGrouper, taken by Michael Patrick O’Neill, won the “People in Nature” category at the “Nature’s Best Photography: Wind land Smith Rice International Awards.” Its range includes the Bahamas, most of the Caribbean, and practically all the Brazilian coast, as well as in Azores, where they are known as hero.
They also tend to spawn in large aggregations, returning like clockwork to the same locations, making them particularly vulnerable to mass harvesting.