Because their range exceeds national borders, the best approach to their conservation is regional closed seasons. Sampling of fish landed in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico during the 1970s and 1980s indicates that Nassau grouper were commonly caught, mostly from spawning aggregation sites.
Currently, Nassau grouper are occasionally reported during underwater reef surveys at low density. Coloration varies, but adult fish are generally light beige, with five dark brown vertical bars, a large black saddle blotch on top of the base of the tail, and a row of black spots below and behind each eye.
A dark band that forms a tuning-fork pattern on top of the head, beginning at the front of the upper jaw, extending through each eye, and then curving to meet its corresponding band in front of the dorsal fin. They can be distinguished from other groupers by the vertical bars and dark saddle coloring along the dorsal part of the area preceding the tail.
Color pattern can change within minutes from almost white too bicolored to uniformly dark brown, according to the behavioral state of the fish. They take advantage of lower light levels at dawn and dusk, combined with the higher number of prey during changeover between diurnal and nocturnal fishes.
Nassau grouper are found in tropical and subtropical waters of the western North Atlantic. This includes Bermuda, Florida, Bahamas, the Yucatán Peninsula, and throughout the Caribbean to southern Brazil.
There has been one verified report of Nassau grouper in the Gulf of Mexico at Flower Gardens Bank. The Nassau grouper is considered a reef fish, but it transitions as it grows through a series of shifts in both habitat and diet.
As juveniles, they are found in nearshore shallow waters in macro algal and seagrass habitats. The main influences on where they live are not known, though water clarity, habitat, and bent hos (the community of organisms in the seabed) seem to be important.
Nassau grouper tend to spend a lot of time in one spot, often on a high-relief coral reefs or rocks in clear water. Larger fish tend to occupy deeper reef areas with greater vertical relief.
While adult Nassau groupers can change sex after hormone injection, natural sex-change has not been confirmed. Sites have been found near the edges of reefs, as little as 50 yards from the shore, near drop-offs into deeper water across a wide range of depths (20 to 200 feet) and environments (including soft corals, sponges, stony coral outcrops, and sandy depressions).
Some more information on how Nassau grouper get to their spawning sites, based on limited observations: After 1 to 2 months of floating with the ocean currents, the larvae settle in nearshore shallow waters in macro algal and seagrass habitats.
Adults are relatively solitary, living in areas that (patchily) overlap other groupers’ home ranges. In some countries with protective regulations, there are too few enforcement officers to cover a large geographic area with many landing locations.
Meanwhile, fish caught during closed season are held and later marketed as legal capture. Photo © Anne DuPontThese large, oblong fish can change both color and gender, and live at the rocky reef bottom of tropical Western Atlantic waters.
There is some debate, but they are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning most start out as females and then become males after a few years of spawning. They grow up to 4 feet long and eat mostly crustaceans and other smaller fish by opening their mouths and inhaling them.
The flesh is primarily marketed as fresh, however there have been reports of ciguatera poisoning from human consumption of this fish. Ciguatera poisoning is caused by dinoflagellates (micro algae) found on dead corals or macro algae.
By feeding on these corals and macro algae, herbivorous fishes accumulate a toxin generated by these dinoflagellates. If accumulated levels of the toxin are great enough they can cause poisoning in humans whom consume the flesh of these fishes.
Poisoned people report having gastrointestinal problems for up to several days, and a general weakness in their arms and legs. The IUCN is a global union of states, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations in a partnership that assesses the conservation status of species.
Occurs in the Gulf of Mexico in limited locations including the Yucatán, Tortuga's, and Key West. This grouper is common on offshore rocky bottoms and coral reefs throughout the Caribbean region.
They occur at a depth range extending to at least 295 feet (90 m), preferring to rest near or close to the bottom. Juveniles are found closer to shore in seagrass beds that offer a suitable nursery habitat.
At these stations, cleaner wrasses pick parasites and dead tissues from the grouper ’s gills and body. There are five irregular dark brown vertical bars on each side and a large black saddle on the top of the caudal peduncle.
The Nassau grouper can change color pattern from light to dark brown very quickly, depending upon the surrounding environment and mood of the fish. The smaller individual displays a bi colored pattern, with a dark head and white fins, caudal peduncle, and ventral body.
This same bi colored pattern is observed in aggregations of spawning fishes, perhaps indicating a peaceful, non-territorial state. These teeth are not used to tear flesh as with the barracudas and sharks, but rather to prevent small fish from escaping.
Size, Age, and Growth Growing to a maximum of 4 feet (1.2 m) and weighing over 50 pounds (22.7 kg), this grouper is one of the largest fish on the reef. Food Habits As a carnivorous predator, the Nassau grouper has a diet that consists mainly of fish, shrimps, crabs, lobsters, and octopuses.
Prey fish include parrot fishes, wrasses, damsel fishes, squirrel fishes, snappers, and grunts. This clever fish patiently waits in hiding, utilizing its ability to camouflage, until it pounces on its prey.
By opening its mouth and dilating the gill covers to draw water in, groupers generally engulf their prey hole in one quick motion. These aggregations form in depth of 65-130 ft (20-40 m) on the outer shelf near the full moon during the winter months.
Release of gametes is initiated by the female moving in a rapid forward and upward direction. It is difficult to distinguish different species of grouper larvae from one another, since what information is known about egg and larval development is general.
The eggs hatch into pelagic larvae that drift along with the currents for a month or so, prior to becoming juveniles. Juveniles settle at lengths of approximately 32 mm, residing in vegetated areas near coral clumps.
At 120-150 mm in length, the juvenile Nassau groupers move out from vegetated areas to surrounding patch reefs. These nematodes can have negative impact on the numbers of eggs produced by female Nassau groupers.
At these stations, bodies and shrimps remove isopods from the bodies, fins, mouths, and gills of these groupers and other fish. The genus name comes from the Greek Epimetheus meaning clouded over while stratus is Latin, referring to the striped color pattern.
Synonyms include Antics China Bloch and Schneider 1801, Sparks chrysomelas Labeled 1802, and Serra nus gymnopareius Valentines 1828. The Nassau grouper (Epimetheus stratus) is one of the large number of Perform fish in the family Serranidae that are commonly referred to as groupers.
It is the most important of the groupers for commercial fishery in the West Indies but has been endangered by overfishing. NassauGrouper range in color depending on environment and age but generally appear between brown and reddish orange.
The Nassau grouper can also change its color to darker shades if it feels threatened or is trying to blend in to its surroundings. A solitary fish, the NassauGrouper has been known at times to be found in small groupings but for the most part they hunt alone in the daytime.
Nassau Groupers have a diet consisting of smaller fish, crustaceans, invertebrates and cephalopods. When releasing keep in water, remove hook with pliers or Hooker and vent accordingly if you brought it up from a deep depth.
It is also present in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, including the Florida Keys and Cuba. Black groupers are found mainly on rocky bottoms and in coral reef environments.
Juvenile black groupers are also found in seagrass beds off of the coast of Florida. The black grouper is a large hearty fish with a protruding lower jaw.
Adult black grouper feed primarily on other smaller reef fishes, including grunts, snapper, and herrings. Smaller fish are much lighter and have numerous dark brown or charcoal kiss-like marks along the sides.
They are predators of round scad, sardines, porgies, snappers, grunts, crabs, shrimp and squid. Spawning takes place in February off the coast of the Carolina's and in January through March in the Gulf of Mexico.
Occurring in shallow, inshore waters to depths of 150 feet, the Goliath grouper prefers areas of rock, coral, and mud bottoms. Strikingly patterned juveniles inhabit mangroves and brackish estuaries, especially near oyster bars.
It is territorial near areas of refuge such as caves, wrecks, and ledges, displaying an open mouth and quivering body to intruders. Goliath grouper are the largest members of the sea bass family in the Atlantic Ocean.
Bases of the soft dorsal and anal fins are covered with scales and thick skin. 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. Occurs in the Gulf of Mexico in limited locations including the Yucatán, Tortuga's, and Key West.
This grouper is common on offshore rocky bottoms and coral reefs throughout the Caribbean region. They occur at a depth range extending to at least 295 feet, preferring to rest near or close to the bottom.
Juveniles are found closer to shore in seagrass beds that offer a suitable nursery habitat. These teeth are not used to tear flesh as with the barracudas and sharks, but rather to prevent small fish from escaping.
Growing to a maximum of 4 feet and weighing over 50 pounds, this grouper is one of the largest fish on the reef. As a carnivorous predator, the Nassau grouper has a diet that consists mainly of fish, shrimps, crabs, lobsters, and octopuses.
Prey fish include parrot fishes, wrasses, damsel fishes, squirrel fishes, snappers, and grunts. This clever fish patiently waits in hiding, utilizing its ability to camouflage, until it pounces on its prey.
By opening its mouth and dilating the gill covers to draw water in, groupers generally engulf their prey hole in one quick motion. As you cruise into The Bahamas, you’ll be surrounded by tranquil inlets, gorgeous beaches and welcoming smiles on the shore.
With more than 700 islands and cays to its name, The Bahamas archipelago definitely deserves multiple excursions to explore such beauty. There are plenty of excellent meal choices onboard, which means you don’t need to make daily lunch and dinner plans.
However, if you’d like to explore more of The Bahamas, you’re encouraged to step on shore, soak up the sun and sample the delicious local cuisine. This sea snail has white meat with a slight orange tinge, and it offers countless ways to tuck into a hearty meal.
Try conch fritters, which have finely chopped meat combined with onions and red peppers that are then deep-fried until golden. Then there is cracked conch: pounded meat that’s lightly battered or breaded and then deep-fried.
Another favorite in The Bahamas, souse is halfway between a soup and a stew, with a rich medley of onions, bell peppers, carrots, celery, potatoes and a heavy dose of lime juice. It also has large chunks of flavorful meat, most often chicken but also pig’s feet or sheep’s tongue.
Fresh guava jam is spread onto the sweet dough and rolled up, making a pretty spiral when sliced. Grouper fillets are fried or seared and seasoned with tomatoes, garlic and a vegetable gravy.
This rich dessert, often baked in a bunt pan, features a generous amount of rum in both the cake itself and the drizzled sauce. Whether you’re pulling into Freeport or winding down your cruise at Half Moon Cay, you’ll likely find abundant eateries with rum cake as a menu staple.
The elbow noodles are combined with plenty of cheese, butter, evaporated milk, onions, bell peppers and abundant spices. This popular dish often makes a showing at holidays, family milestones or large celebratory feasts.
While touring Nassau, the most populated island of your Bahamian cruise, you might come across a party or two featuring none other than fiery mac ‘n’ cheese. Consisting of rum, coffee-flavored liqueur, and fresh-squeezed pineapple and lemon juice, this refreshing drink is the ideal accompaniment to anything and everything all the way from Nassau to Princess Cays.
The shortcrust pastry is cut in a circle, topped with the mixture and folded over to form a sealed patty. Common Name Grouper Animalia Kingdom Phylum Chordata Class Osteichthyes Order Performed Family Serranidae Genus Species Epimetheus SPP.
The word grouper comes from the Portuguese name, group, which has been speculated to come from an indigenous South American language. First it’s worth mentioning that due to the number of genres of this family it’s impossible to give a unique description for each of them.
Groupers can reach very large sizes, having found in the Mediterranean and in the gulf of Nicola, Costa Rica, specimens of 150 kg of weight and 1.70 meters in length with an age of 50 years. Groupers usually live in rocky areas of temperate and tropical waters in depth ranges from four to three hundred and fifty meters.
As for their behavior, it’s worth mentioning that they are characterized as solitary creatures that feed on small fish and one that other crustaceans, and even octopus. In the book «Vitoria Art» of the Marquis de Villena (XV century) it was mentioned as a usual food.
The trumpet fish (Autosomes Chinese) usually hide floating on large groupers from where they suddenly emerge to attack their prey by surprise. Some groupers are so huge that when they open their mouths to feed, they create a suction that is powerful enough to inhale small prey.
In addition to their possible great size, another defense that some groupers have is the ability to change the color of their skin. Epimetheus marginates has a large mouth with prominent lips ; its dorsal fin is long and allows it to move quickly over short distances.
In terms of behavior it’s worth mentioning that they are solitary and territorial specimens, (a bit sullen). As for reproduction it’s the characteristic of the species however its transformation to male is possible at seven years of age depending on where it’s.
The Dusky grouper feeds on mollusk especially octopuses and crustaceans and some small fish occasionally. Epimetheus marginates has two distribution centers, the main one being the eastern Atlantic from the west coast of Iberia south along the western coast of Africa to the Cape of Good Hope, extending east into the south-western Indian Ocean, as far as southern Mozambique, with doubtful records from Madagascar and possibly Oman.
The Atlantic Goliath grouper inhabits an average of 46 m deep and generally less than 100 m, in a wide variety of habitats, including reefs, mangroves, underwater grasslands, estuaries or deeper waters. It feeds mainly on crustaceans, (specially on spiny lobsters) as well as turtles, octopus and fish, including rays and even sharks.
It reproduces in summer, when up to 100 mature individuals congregate in a small area to spawn at a depth of 15 to 30 m. Due to the weight and size they can reach, only adult specimens that have already fulfilled their reproductive function are fished.
This is a common benthic fish in the coral reefs of the western Atlantic Ocean, between Florida (in the US) and northern Brazil, also occupying the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Its worth mentioning that this a solitary predator that feeds mainly on other fish and various invertebrates, such as crabs and mollusks.
To reproduce, they gather in large concentrations to perform the annual spawning, on nights near the new moon. This species is typical in the coastal areas of the western Atlantic from southern Brazil to North Carolina in the USA existing also specimens in the Gulf of Mexico.
The red grouper fish has a moderate size; the standard specimen is 1.25 meters long and weighs approximately 23 kilos. It should be noted that there is also the possibility of changing color in the head or other part of the body which may turn white.
This fish is usually sedentary and like the other groupers change sex between seven and twelve years of age. Their diet is based on crabs, young lobsters, and shrimps and occasionally feeds on some fish.
This species has an extended pelagic larval phase of forty days before settling in the coastal habitat as juveniles. The spawning takes place on the high seas between the months of January to June, reaching its maximum level in May.
This is due to the change in pressure that the animal suffers ; most of the catches are made in the Gulf of Mexico. Its coloration is reddish brown with dark spots and bars and is the most abundant small grouper in the northern Gulf of California.
Their diet is based on fish and crustaceans, for example, blackberry crab, and studies have shown that this specimen has the characteristic solitary behavior of the mere species. The Malabar grouper fish is distributed along the tropical waters of the Indo-Western Pacific area from the east coast of Africa to the Tonga Islands, including the Red Sea.
This grouper lives in diverse habitats, such as lagoons, mangroves, coral and rocky reefs, sandy and muddy bottom areas between 2 and 150 meters deep. On the other hand, juvenile specimens prefer lagoons or brackish areas, which is why it has been considered as a freshwater grouper.
The majority of fishermen take this fish in reproductive age which results in a considerable reduction in the number of specimens of groupers in the world’s oceans. In 2011, some studies showed that the groupers had suffered a reduction of 80% of its total population ; although there are no signs that overfishing has decreased, in the USA.
There are currently many invasive species in marine ecosystems that are found around the world the Ragged finned fire fish being one of them which has been distributed throughout the ocean of the coast from the Caribbean. However, the nutrients found in groupers aren’t that considerable compared to other foods such as whole grains, legumes, liver among others.
Such nutrients are carbohydrates, fats and proteins which are very important for the formation of red blood cells, the transformation of genetic material, the proper functioning of the nervous system among others. Its worth mentioning the groupers’ meat also has an interesting amount of vitamin E that has an antioxidant action in the body.
Some researches that have been carried out shows heavy metal concentrations in fish due to the contamination of the water where they live. Long-lived species, together with fish that occupy a high place in the marine food chain have higher concentrations of mercury and this can negatively affect the health of the human being.
The danger of eating contaminated mercury foods depends on the species, its size and lifetime. In the case of grouper, all species have a high amount of mercury since they live close to 50 years and consume a wide variety of marine organisms.
It’s suggested to consume this fish moderately and preferably fresh so as not to suffer from mercury poisoning. In the 50s the toxicity of methyl mercury was made public after an outbreak of cerebral palsy and microcephaly in some newborns in a fishing village in Minima ta Bay located in Japan.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) together with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that pregnant women or who plan to be as well as young children avoid eating more than 180 grams of fish per week to decrease the risk of mercury poisoning. Cases of ciguatera (food poisoning) have also been reported following the consumption of Epimetheus lanceolatus meat.
To do this, cut the groupers into individual fillets and bathe them in the mixture you prepared in step three of lemon, salt and pepper. While the grouper with bakers is in the oven, we will take the olive oil with a little garlic paste over low heat so that it is infused.