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.
The Goliath grouper, capable of growing to 800 pounds, bobs around the reefs and swallows the occasional crab or passing fish. As fishermen tell it, these marine blimps hover in wait of easy meals, parking themselves next to fishing boats and snatching someone else's hard-won catch off the line.
They face strong opposition from environmentalists, divers and some scientists, who relish the opportunity to see these enormous, surprisingly curious fish just a few hundred yards from South Florida's condo towers. “If you sit still, they'll come to you and see what's going on,” said Kevin Metz, owner of Underwater Explorers of Boynton Beach, whose business from August through October consists almost exclusively of taking divers to see Goliath groupers at a submerged wreck.
Brian Sanders of Davie has taken famous South Floridians including former Miami Dolphins' linebacker Zach Thomas and former pro wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson fishing for Goliath. Written comments to the wildlife commission in support of allowing them to be taken again describe similar experiences.
Whether to allow them to be killed, the wildlife commission has received 439 written comments so far, the majority from fishermen who blame the resurgence of Goliath groupers for a decline in the number of other fish. “They eat massive amounts of reef fish to maintain and grow to these huge weights.
But Christopher Koenig, a biologist at Florida State University who studies the Goliath grouper, said his research on their diet refutes the idea that they have much impact on reef fish, whether grabbed from fishing lines or through the Goliath grouper's own enterprise. Known until 2001 by the politically incorrect name “Jewish,” the Goliath grouper had sustained a sharp decline due to overfishing for its meat, the loss of coastal habitat for young fish and the inherent vulnerabilities of a long-lived species that takes years to reach sexual maturity.
The species is classified as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the global authority on the status of wildlife populations. “Recent stock assessment indicates abundance in South Florida has greatly increased since the fishery closed in 1990,” said Amanda Valley, spokeswoman for the wildlife commission.
“While a limited harvest of smaller-sized fish in south Florida is unlikely to harm the population, the FCC also wants to take into consideration stakeholder perspectives. Sylvia Earle, one of the world's foremost marine biologists, who was named a Hero for the Planet by Time magazine, strongly supports keeping the ban, saying that living Goliath groupers are ecological treasures that support a growing tourism industry.
At times, these giant fish gather in groups of up to 100 in one specific area, most often on a wreck or sheltered reef. Goliath groupers are the largest predatory, reef-dwelling fish species in the Caribbean, weighing as much as 660 pounds (300 kg) when fully grown.
Game fishermen in the 20th century hunted them to such extremes that the species was near extinction along the Florida coastline by the 1990s. Those attempting to spot them in typical dive locations off the Palm Beach coast will be disappointed.
Depending on the year, Goliath grouper numbers fluctuate between the different wrecks, with some enjoy a higher concentration than others. Divers who approach the fish should remain calm, not chase them, and swim slowly to avoid spooking them.
Following those rules and visiting the right sites at the right time of the year means a good chance to see one of the ocean’s truly spectacular spawning events. A Pad MST instructor, Chris graduated from university in 2016 with a degree in film and journalism.
His documentary depicting the adapting generation of whale hunters on the island of PICO won a Royal Television Award in 2017. # of Dives: 500 – 999 Location: Australia G'day all, Collected my morning newspaper and the headline read Grouper attacks Yon gala diver.
Apparently a Swedish backpacker was hanging off the 5 m safety line when the 2 m groper put his mouth over the divers head, he said later he thought it was a shark until it released him, and he saw what it was. The newspaper went on to say that another diver (Instructed) went into the water about 5 minutes later and the grouper had a go at him, he said he fended it off with his fins.
If women can have an excuse to bite heads off once a month I think the fish only getting to do it once a year is fair enough! Alternative definition: a big fish that disappears as soon as my buddy points at it, so I end up staring at nothing.
Heard about a grouper killing a swimmer in Italy a few years back. It was 150 kilos and it bit the poor swimmer until he died of blood loss.
The lingering legacy of World War Two reached the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday as the justices weighed two cases involving claims by Jews in Germany and Hungary and their descendants whose property was taken amid persecution that culminated in the Holocaust. In one case, the justices considered Germany's bid to avoid facing in a U.S. court a lawsuit that accused its former Nazi government of pressuring Jewish art dealers to sell a collection of medieval artwork in the 1930s.
Several hundred people paid their respects last week at a funeral in Russia for the Chechnya teenager who beheaded a teacher in France over cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. Samuel Party, a 47-year-old history teacher, became the target of a hostile online campaign after discussing the cartoons in a class on freedom of speech and was eventually attacked and murdered by Abdoulaye Antonov, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee, in October.
His body was repatriated to Russia last week to allow his family to bury him in his ancestral village in the predominantly Muslim region of Chechnya. Several hundred people attended the funeral on Friday in the village of Sheila, chanting prayers on their way to the cemetery, a video released by several media outlets showed.
Salman Karamazov, the village chief, insisted in an interview with the Poem media outlet on Monday that Antonov received an ordinary burial without “any special honors”. Roman Karol, the strongman leader of Chechnya, said French President Emmanuel Macron was to blame for allegedly encouraging insults against Muslims.
Mr Karol later sought to distance his region from the attack, insisting that the teenager, an ethnic Chechen, was born in Moscow and moved to France when he was a small child. Pope Francis will make a pilgrimage to Iraq in March, pandemic conditions permitting, the Vatican said Monday, in announcing what would be the pontiff's first trip abroad in more than a year.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Brunei said Francis will make the March 5-8 visit, with stops in Baghdad, and the “plains of Ur, linked to the memory of Abraham,” the Biblical patriarch who is revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims, as well as to the cities of Rail, Mosul and Arash. Thousands of people protested and blocked traffic in central London on Sunday over Indian agricultural reforms that have triggered mass demonstrations in India, and police made 13 arrests over breaches of COVID-19 regulations.
Tens of thousands of farmers have protested in India against three laws the government says are meant to overhaul antiquated procurement procedures and give growers more options to sell their produce. Farmers fear the legislation, passed in September, will eventually dismantle India's regulated markets and stop the government from buying wheat and rice at guaranteed prices, leaving them at the mercy of private buyers.
Conspiracy and barricadesPoliticians and military officers who opposed President Alves saw opportunity in the outrage these health initiatives caused. They stoked discontent. With the help of labor organizers and news editors, Alves’ opponents led a campaign against Brazil’s public health mandates throughout 1904.
For these Brazilians, the streets were the only place to have their voices heard. But why would they so virulently oppose methods that controlled the spread of disease? Delving into newspapers and legal records, I have found that critics of Brazil’s 1904 public health drive often expressed their opposition in terms of “inviolability of the home,” both on the streets and in courts. For elite Brazilians, invoking this constitutional right was about protecting the privacy of their households, where men ruled over wives, children and servants. Throughout the 19th century, enslaved Afro-Brazilians had formed families and built homes, even on plantations, carving out spaces of relative freedom from their masters.
Donald Trump’s attempts to challenge his election defeat have been further impeded after Rudy Giuliani, the lawyer leading the drive, was hospitalized with coronavirus. Mr Giuliani, the former New York mayor and close confidant of the US president, was admitted to Georgetown University Hospital in Washington DC on Sunday night.
Rule said she's now “on the mend” and her family is “very lucky” to be getting better but noted that many Americans have not been as fortunate, as the United States' coronavirus death toll passes 280,000. “This plea came after MSNBC's Rachel Maddox emotionally revealed that her partner tested positive for COVID-19, saying they feared “it might kill her” and telling viewers they must “do whatever you can to keep from getting it.
Once Status, chief adviser to the U.S. government's Operation Warp Speed initiative, said he has not yet met with Biden, who last week criticized the Trump administration's vaccine distribution plan. To a passer-by, the fluffy, cartoonist creature on the floor could have been a cuddly toy dropped by a child on a trip to the New Forest National Park.
This year, wildlife experts have spotted the Garden Dormouse in Derbyshire and the New Forest, sparking concerns that it has been deliberately released. Rebekah Jones, a former Florida Health Department official, tweeted a video in which it appears state police entered her home to confiscate her computer and other devices.