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.
It lives in shallow tropical waters at small depths that range from 16 to 164 feet (5 – 50 meters) among coral and artificial reefs. The Atlantic goliathgrouper can grow until it reaches approximately 8.2 ft (2.5 m) long and it weighs about 790 lb (360 kg).
Although the Atlantic goliathgrouper seems to be scary for its large size and even wide mouth, it is not extremely dangerous but it is courageous. Being fearless and delicious at the same time is not good for this fish as these two factors are the main reasons behind making it highly sought after by fishermen and thus harvesting it in large numbers.
Treating this fish in such a cruel way was the main reason behind making it endangered and this is why it was necessary to protect it and entirely ban harvesting it. The Atlantic goliathgrouper is fearless which means that it is not scared easily and this is why it attacks different creatures in the sea even divers and the 11 feet lemon sharks.
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.
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.
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.
Ever catch yourself in the middle of a giant fish mating fest? These fish are called goliathgrouper, and they’re listed as an endangered species in the United States.
Often roaming the depths of dive sites in South Florida and beyond, goliathgrouper are a sight to behold when spotted. Like we said, goliathgrouper are frequently spotted inhabiting the depths off of Florida’s coast.
Hundreds of the travel great distances to Jupiter for a two-month-long mating session! Oxford Dictionary Fortunately for scuba divers, we become the beneficiaries of such a magnificent moment in nature.
Most dive shops in town craft their daily trips around visiting the grouper hotspots. To experience the aggregations in their full force, you must dive in August and September.
The streamlined check-in, laser-focused approach, informative briefings, and knowledgeable Captain and crew blew us away. We’ll be diving with them every time we visit the Jupiter area, and we highly recommend you do, as well.
As for the day itself, the general structure of the trip consists of two different dive sites. The first, a drift dive on a shipwreck featuring the main event: goliathgrouper.
The second, a drift dive on a vibrant coral reef serving as home to sea turtles, sharks, and some truly amazing ocean animals. Which site you visit, the Wreck Trek or MG-111, is entirely dependent on the Captain, conditions, and availability (our friends at Emerald Charters and their shark diving operation seem to ruffle some feathers by snatching up sites).
The current was insane, so we actually held onto structures waving like flagpoles in the wind. After drifting through the entire shipwreck we entered an area known as Warrior Reef.
It’s essentially a group of pillars that goliathgrouper are keen to surround. After leaving Warrior Reef you’ll find yourself in sand for as far as the eye can see.
Visiting with hundreds of some of the biggest fish in the world is a truly awe-inspiring experience. Additionally, Jupiter is a stunning dive destination, regardless of the aggregations.
Visit in August or September to enjoy the Goliath grouper aggregations fully. That audible bark is meant to deter you from coming any closer.
Jupiter Dive Center is a top-notch operation that we personally book trips with. The closest airports are West Palm Beach (PBI) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL).