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. If you’ve even seen a picture of grouper, you may know that it’s a large, rather ugly fish, though many enjoy its taste: firm, moist flesh with a mild flavor.
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.
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.
The Atlantic GoliathGrouper, like most groupers, is an ambush predator and eats fairly large fishes and invertebrates and even small sharks. Though they were likely naturally rare, scientists believe that destructive fishing practices have reduced the numbers of Atlantic Goliath Groupers by at least 80% and that the species is now critically endangered.
Furthermore, a total lack of fear of people makes them an easy target for spear fishers. Finally, the Atlantic GoliathGrouper ’s large size, slow growth, and ease of capture all contribute to slow its recovery, even where laws have been put in place to give it some or complete legal protection from fishing (e.g., in the USA and Brazil).
It is important to continue to monitor Atlantic GoliathGrouper population trends in order to determine whether the species is recovering or if stronger legal protection may be required. The two species are similar in both appearance and behavior, but little is known about the population trends or conservation status of the Pacific GoliathGrouper.
Tampa Bay is loaded with GoliathGrouper especially since the ban put into effect over 20 years ago. Although they must be returned to the ocean, they make great fighters and are true trophies for someone who wants to do battle with a giant fish.