How Did Goliath Grouper Get The Name Jewfish

David Lawrence
• Wednesday, 14 October, 2020
• 7 min read

There are several theories for how the Jewish (Promiscuous tiara), an Atlantic saltwater grouper with fins and scales, got its name. It may derive from the Italian Giuseppe,” which means “bottom fish,” or may have originally been named “jaw fish” for its large mouth.

itajara epinephelus goliath grouper ncfishes atlantic
(Source: ncfishes.com)


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.

grouper blacktiph strongest fishing goliath fish via
(Source: brobible.com)

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 “.

(Source: www.wsoctv.com)

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.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 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 committee's basic guidelines point out that names must be in good taste and can't be offensive. It is offensive to many people,” said Dr. Gary Grossman, professor of fish ecology at the University of Georgia, “The response (to a name -change petition) was very strong.

Grossman and more than 40 other scientists and supporters submitted their petition to the names' committee in December, a month before the committee finalized its newest volume of common names. The reference book is published every 10 years and is due in print by the end of 2001.

goliath grouper eats bite shark florida beach firstcoastnews
(Source: www.firstcoastnews.com)

The name was changed to pike minnow in 1998 because a group of Native Americans felt it was derogatory toward women. Grossman contacted committee members and shared some many negative emails he received about the name from eminent scientists.

He presented historical arguments contained in a 1996 article published in the Tropical Fish Hobbyist headlined: The Trouble with Jewish or What's in a Name ? The article, written by Richard G. Gould and James W. ATZ, states in the first paragraph: Jewish is a controversial name.

The authors cite sources that date the name to 17th century Jamaica. Those sources claim the name was penned because the fish had both fins and scales and was thus kosher and eaten by Jamaican Jews.

But in the United States, the Jewish has had proper scientific sanction. Nelson quickly pointed out that the fish is not named after the biblical Philistine Goliath who was slain by David.

I noted recently that the official name for the Jewish, Epimetheus Tamara was changed to Goliath Grouper which made sense to me because the name has always struck me as derogatory. But I have never been able to understand how the fish originally got its name and I haven't found any information on the web to help.

grouper goliath aquarium frost science behemoth meet its true fish
(Source: www.frostscience.org)

Another fish over here that has a politically incorrect name is the blackish, or communally known as “******”. In this day and age there really isn't room for anything that could be considered offensive to anyone.

Sorry if I offended anyone, but the entire Jewish name change thing is ridiculous and stupid. # of Dives: 200 – 499 Location: Cosset, Massachusetts USA I noted recently that the official name for the Jewish, Epimetheus Tamara was changed to Goliath Grouper which made sense to me because the name has always struck me as derogatory.

I would be pretty chuffed if they named a fish after me or some select social group that I belong to. This is another case of someone judging a name by today's standards rather than in the context it was created.

This is another case of someone judging a name by today's standards rather than in the context it was created. Kosher, because it has both fins and scales, and the grandest, because it is by far the largest kosher fish around” I'll bet Elders (no offense intended) also has a problem with the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Braves.

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