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How Much Do Goliath Groupers Weigh

author
Carole Stephens
• Tuesday, 08 December, 2020
• 8 min read

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.

grouper goliath largest much weigh atlantic perfect hook kg florida feet pounds
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Contents

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. 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.

grouper goliath florida hook caught line weighs hunt fish boat brought
(Source: www.floridatoday.com)

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 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.

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(Source: patch.com)

^ 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. You’ve probably seen groupers being caught and were simply amazed at just how large they are.

Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting fun facts and statistics about this popular fish. You can find a range of types of grouper based in the Atlantic and the Gulf.

Some of them include the scamp, black, snowy, gag, red, Warsaw, yellow fin, and speckled hind. The Goliath Grouper is found off the coast of Florida in the Atlantic, as well.

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However, for sport anglers out there, keep in mind that this particular type of grouper is protected. When people think about fish that they don’t want to meet while they are in the water, sharks are probably the top on that list, perhaps followed by barracuda.

Take the video that you can find online from 2014 that shows a Goliath grouper rising right out of the depths and swallowing a… wait for it… Blacktop shark. It circles the shark for a bit and then snatches it right out of the water before the angler can bring it on the boat.

One in Florida that was caught with a hook and line weighed 680 pounds. In fact, they can be in excess of nine feet long and can weigh up to 1000 pounds.

Try to work with a charter that knows and understands what it takes to successfully catch groupers. Scientist believes that this transformation occurs once the female has reached a certain sexual maturity, so they switch from growing eggs to fertilizing them.

This is a major advantage for the reproduction cycle as it leaves the energy-consuming task of growing eggs to the younger, healthier, and stronger female fish. The Goliath grouper can be found living along the coast of Florida, through the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the eastern part of the Atlantic.

goliath fish monster grouper groupers florida much weigh grow pewtrusts pew
(Source: www.pewtrusts.org)

Despite its massive size, goliathgroupers find much comfort being in tight quarters that allow them to be in touch with the walls, which makes this exhibit a perfect fit. They provide groupers a fantastic spot for ambushing prey such as shrimp, fish, octopus, spiny lobsters, and young sea turtles.

But don’t be fooled, although these animals would rather sit in a blue hole for a majority of their days, they are also one of the top-level predatory fish on many coral reefs. Unfortunately, the destruction of mangrove nursery habitats, overfishing, and increased human activity along the coastlines have threatened this grouper species.

Photo courtesy Oaths large, solitary fish will defend its territory when threatened, with aggressive body language and a rumbling sound it makes with its swim bladder. Its large, thick, elongated body can grow to over 8 feet long (and up to 800 pounds), from rounded snout and small eyes, to short, fan-like tail fin.

Usually it is a mottled yellow-brown to gray with darker bard and spots, ideal for blending in to their rocky coral and muddy inshore habitat. Other names are Baden (Portuguese), campus (Portuguese), hernia gig ante (Italian), China (Spanish), group (Portuguese), gran morgue (Iranian), guava (Spanish), data (Japanese), harbor (Norwegian), havsabborre (Swedish), Tamara Vienna (Polish), Judaism (Norwegian), hero guava (Spanish), hero (French), orphan (Turkish), raitameriahven (Finnish), Sophos (Greek), scarring (Italian), tip (Palikir), Atari (Icelandic), and zackenbarsch (German).

A 450 pound Goliath grouper caught by Buddy Junks at the Big Indian Rocks Fishing Pier, Florida (1976). Photo courtesy Kenneth Krzysztof historical importance to commercial fisheries, the Goliath grouper has also long been prized by recreational and sport fishers.

grouper goliath fish giant species fishing largest whopping hawaii 1000 teeth atlantic livescience sea kg wildlife pound conservation quinquefasciatus declared
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Spear fishers find this fish easy to approach; hence in locations accessible to divers their numbers have declined. Very large Goliath grouper have been observed to stalk divers and even conduct unsuccessful ambushes of the same.

The large size, slow growth, low reproductive rate, and spawning behavior have made the Goliath grouper especially susceptible to overfishing. The Goliath grouper is totally protected from harvest and is recognized as a “Critically Endangered” species by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

Furthermore, the IUCN concludes that the species has been “observed, estimated, inferred or suspected” of a reduction of at least 80% over the last 10 years or three generations. Historical exploitation of Goliath grouper annual spawning aggregation sites greatly reduced the number of reproductive adults.

Occurring in shallow, inshore waters to depths of 150 feet (46 m), the Goliath grouper prefers areas of rock, coral, and mud bottoms. It is territorial near areas of refuge such as caves, wrecks, and ledges, displaying an open mouth and quivering body to intruders.

Additional warning may be delivered in the form of the Goliath grouper’s ability to produce a distinctly audible rumbling sound generated by the muscular contraction of the swim bladder. Photo courtesy NOAA Distinctive Features Goliath grouper are the largest members of the sea bass family in the Atlantic Ocean.

grouper goliath largest ever groupers monster fishing biggest
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Coloration This fish is generally brownish yellow, gray, or olive with small dark spots on head, body, and fins. The presence of a number of short weakly developed canine teeth is useful in distinguishing this species from other North Atlantic groupers.

However, this specimen was sampled from a population of individuals depressed by fishing pressure and it is projected that Goliath grouper may live much longer, perhaps as much as 50 years. Photo © Don Maria Food Habits Goliath grouper feed largely on crustaceans (in particular spiny lobsters, shrimps and crabs), fishes (including stingrays and parrot fishes), octopus, and young sea turtles.

However, the significance of this finding is of diminished value when one considers that transitional individuals are known to be rare amongst confirmed species of protogynous hermaphrodites, such as the red grouper (Epimetheus Mario) and gag (Mycteroperca microbes). Photo courtesy National Marine Fisheries Service In support of the notion that the species is a protogynous hermaphrodite is the fact that the largest goliathgroupers are invariably male. Spawning occurs during the summer months of July, August, and September throughout the Goliath grouper’s range and is strongly influenced by the lunar cycle.

Ship wrecks, rock ledges, and isolated patch reefs are preferred spawning habitat. In the 1980s these aggregations reached a low of less than 10 individuals per site as fishing pressure greatly impacted this species.

Since receiving legislative protection the spawning aggregations of Goliath grouper have risen to 20-40 individuals per location. These pelagic larvae transform into benthic juveniles at lengths of one inch (2.5 cm), around 25 or 26 days after hatching.

grouper goliath florida lose protection catch areas usa research www2 padi
(Source: www2.padi.com)

In an 1884 work, “The fishes of the Florida Keys,” David Starr Jordan proposed the inclusion of the Goliath grouper in Epimetheus (Bloch 1793) and this combination remains in use today. Of incidental note is the fact that various authors have incorrectly spelled the specific epithet “Tamara” as “tiara.” The genus name comes from the Greek epinephelos translated as cloudy.

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