The groupers complex is not subject to overfishing based on 2019 catch data. Black grouper grow up to five feet long and can weigh up to 180 pounds.
Black grouper take advantage of other species’ reproductive aggregations for feeding. They are particularly associated with the southern Gulf of Mexico, Florida Keys, Cuba, the Bahamas, and throughout the Caribbean.
Annual catch limits are used for black grouper in the commercial and recreational fisheries. These fisheries are closed when their annual catch limit is projected to be met.
Both the commercial and recreational fisheries have size limits to reduce harvest of immature black grouper. The commercial and recreational fishing seasons are closed from January through April to protect black grouper during their peak spawning period.
Minimum size limits protect immature black grouper. Year-round and/or seasonal area closures for commercial and recreational sectors to protect spawning groupers.
Groupers are managed separately by commercial and recreational sector in Puerto Rico. Seasonal closure for black, red, tiger, yellow fin, and yellow edge groupers from February 1 through April 30.
Black groupers typically have dark coloration, with olive, gray or brown bodies and irregular bronze-colored blotches and spots. Spotted black groupers are large, territorial reef fishes that can reach 2 m in length and at least 80 kg, although most seen in New Zealand are considerably smaller than this.
Spotted black grouper (Epimetheus Amelia) are known as black cod, saddled rock cod and saddle tail grouper in Australia. Spotted black grouper are true groupers belonging to the family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephrine.
Although commonly called ‘groper’ in New Zealand, the haiku (Poly prion oxygenate) and bass (P. Americans) are actually ‘wreck fishes’ belonging to the family Polyprionidae. Spotted black grouper are only found in southeast Australia (Spencer Gulf to southern Queensland, excluding Tasmania), Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands, and northern New Zealand.
In New Zealand the largest and possibly only breeding population is found in the Germanic Islands Marine Reserve. Around mainland New Zealand spotted black grouper are relatively common on shallow reefs at Three Kings Islands and along Northland’s rocky east coast.
Small juveniles have been recorded as far south as Dominika on the west coast, and Palmier Bay in the east. Spotted black grouper inhabit rocky reefs in estuaries and on the open coast to at least 50 m depth.
At the Germanic Islands small juvenile spotted black grouper are found in large intertidal rock pools as well as amongst boulders at 20 to 30 m depth. Spotted black grouper appear to have had very little fishing pressure anywhere in New Zealand, however those in eastern Australia are considered to be heavily depleted by line, set net and spear fishers.
Spotted black grouper are opportunistic predators of smaller reef fishes and crustaceans (shrimps, crabs and rock lobster). Spotted black grouper are vulnerable to a variety of fishing methods due to their large size, territorial behavior and natural curiosity.
Populations in eastern Australia are considered to be overfished and their estuaries nursery habitats are threatened by coastal development and pollution. Spotted black groupers may suffer internal damage from hooks and over-expansion of their swim bladder if caught by accident.
Like whales, large filter-feeding sharks and rays can accidentally ingest these, and all species suffer from entanglement in marine debris. Fresh grouper is highly sought-after both by restaurants and by individuals looking to make a good meal.
The meat is firm with a relatively high moisture and oil content. The flavor is generally sweet, with the red grouper being a bit sweeter than black grouper.
All grouper species are considered by chefs to have an ideal flavor for a number of dishes and preparation styles. The dominant characteristic that makes grouper ’s food quality so high is its oil and moisture content.
Compared to most other mild-tasting types of fish, grouper has a much higher oil and moisture content. Grouper meat has a unique texture when compared to most other commonly eaten fish.
High oil and moisture content keeps the large flakes firm, yet still tender. Buttery, smooth, firm, and tender would be the best way to sum up grouper ’s texture in a few words.
In our opinion, the variation between group species is small, but still notable enough to warrant some attention. Red grouper is the most common species found within the American seafood market.
Generally, those who prefer red grouper do so for its slightly milder and sweeter taste. Truthfully, all but the most experienced seafood pros can tell the difference between red grouper and black grouper once the skin has been removed.
Gag grouper is a separate species from black grouper, but it shares its traits to a degree that makes any differences negligible at best. You’ll commonly see gag lumped in with black in the seafood market due to its very similar flavor and texture.
The vast majority of what you’ll find in restaurants or stores will be a variety of red, black, and gag grouper. You’ll find a fleshy area that runs from right in front of the gill to right next to the grouper ’s eye, following along the line of the mouth.
Once you make it to the area next the grouper ’s eye, simply flip the cheek out and peel it off of the remaining attached skin. There is a wide variety of ways to cook and grouper pairs will with many flavors.
This is yet another benefit of the high oil and moisture content within grouper meat. Overcooking is definitely possible, but it’s much less common than it is when dealing with flakier, drier fish like snapper or sole.
Grouper sandwiches are one of the most well-liked seafood staples in coastal areas and are always a good choice. The immense popularity of grouper makes it extremely easy to find endless recipes in cookbooks and all across the web.
If you’re an adventurous chef, the forgiving nature of grouper meat makes it an ideal choice for trying out new recipes and seafood creations. If you’ve made it this far, you know just about everything you need to confidently order grouper at a restaurant or prepare it yourself at home.
It really is one of the tastiest fish on the menu and I’ve known of plenty of seafood skeptics who still enjoy a good grouper filet. Back when Hillary Clinton and Obama were having their tête-à-tête in the Democratic Convention, we put our vote on Barack.
A predator, large enough to eat any rotate, sergeant major, french grunt, or juvenile bream watched us while food was given out, apparently for free, with no visible strings attached (pun intended). Then it was only a matter of time for the stress, anxiety, and novelty of a new way of eating to wear off, for Barrack to allow fondling manipulation, and photo ops.
The black -brown squares that line his outside result in a Ninja ability to hide in plain view, but in the shade. Back then we Hartley had a tame Nassau grouper at Stag Rocks reef, off Shelly Bay.
Like most food choices, region and culture largely determine what we deem fit for the table and what we consider inedible. We relish the golden nuggets of deep-fried catfish ”“ a whiskered, bottom-dwelling scavenger ”“ yet we are off put by the humble carp, whose lifestyle is nearly identical.
In fact, our common are actually prized both as a sport fish and as a food source in Asia and Western Europe. But here in the US, not only is carped almost never found on a menu, they more frequently serve as swimming targets for bow fishermen who, at best, use the carcasses as fertilizer.
The fish’s head suffers a similar, arbitrary prejudice as we shun all parts but the faceless fillets. Our culture typically rejects things that look slimy, and fish are indeed slimier than a cow.
Finally, cooking whole fish with intact heads can be an intimidating undertaking, and so we create distance by cutting and slicing until we are left with anonymous flanks of lean fillets only. This exercise in extreme waste is particularly true among the legions of sport fisherman who, like myself, endeavor to bring home the day’s catch.
But whether we are inclined to the fresh or the saltwater species, prejudice against every part of the fish besides the fillet transcends salinity and states alike. I’ve seen piles of glistening bluefish heads doomed for the landfill after a day’s trip off the New Jersey Shore, and I’ve seen paint buckets full of crappie heads tossed into the North Carolina woods for stray cats and raccoons.
I’ve witnessed massive hauls of striped bass in the San Francisco Bay unceremoniously decapitated and filleted, then stood by haplessly as I watched men heave plastic bins full of heads back into the cold ocean water. For a real show, stop by Biscayne Boulevard in Miami when the sport fishing charters return to the late afternoon and the first mates throw kilos worth of discarded fish heads back into a Tarpon-infested marina.
I’m that guy that shows up to these places with a cooler full of ice and a fistful of dollar bills. There may be bountiful meat found tucked in and around the collar of the fish, encased in the cheeks, and perched atop its forehead.
Fresh fish is both a joy and a privilege, and thus the short window of time to enjoy such quality should not be squandered. In general, fish can’t blink or cry, and they can’t seem to shake the accident of birth that endowed them with a smile or a frown.
Checking for freshness starts with a house key in your fingers and a willingness to appear at the fishmonger as if you were a forensic crime specialist at the state bureau of investigation. As time goes on, the eyes become cloudy, dry and begin to sink back into the ocular cavity.
Meet that accusing stare with your own, and if you have problems with eye contact, now is the time to work on that. After satisfying yourself with the fish’s eyes, take a key out of your pocket, and lift the gill cover (pendulum).
A live fish’s gills are ruby red, and from there, they age into the color brown. The collar is the succulent, tender and flavorful wedge that exists in the space between the pectoral fins and the gill cover.
Because the fillet line begins behind the pectoral fins, a fish’s head will include two collars. If you have fish head large enough, these should be cut off and reserved for special treatment.
Unlike a fillet, a large fish’s head is almost made for a grill. It more easily lifts off the grate, and the bones and collagen in the skull protect the delicate meat from overcooking over a direct flame.
Alternatively, prop one of these large heads nose-up on a plate after roasting in an oven for an hour, top with a fresh pesto and scatter with cherry tomatoes drizzled in olive oil. Recipe Ingredients: Two fresh salmon collars Lime teriyaki glaze ½ cup soy sauce 1 knob fresh ginger, grated 1 clove garlic, grated 2 tbsp.
Brush salmon collars with teriyaki glaze, then place on grill, skin side down, for 5 minutes. These may be gently boiled down with aromatics, herbs and wine, strained and added to give richness and body to braising liquids and sauces.
Small heads may not be the sexy centerpieces that their larger counterparts are, but they may lend depth and substance to curries and tomato-based sauces. Eating the head of an animal isn’t for the faint of heart, and it may challenge our most stubborn cultural predilections.
It’s primal, it’s raw, and the labyrinthine maze of a fish’s skull doesn’t always lend itself to the width of a fork. But whether you’re a high school cheerleader or a seasoned angler, fish heads are within easy reach.
Familiarizing yourself with the fish’s head means you can savor the forgotten inches of fresh seafood you couldn’t otherwise afford, or you can minimize the opportunity cost glaring at you from the pile of discarded fish heads, whether measured in money or minutes. So, whether you’re up for the eye contact or you prefer a good disguise, remember that it’s all in your head, and the fish’s too.
Unsalted butter 2 Medium Onions, quartered and peeled 4 Stalks Celery, roughly chopped 2 Medium Carrots, roughly chopped 3 Cloves Garlic, peeled 2 Dried Bay Leaves ¼ Cup Flat Leaf Parsley (leaves and stems), roughly chopped 8 Sprigs Fresh Thyme 2 Tbsp. Black Peppercorns ¼ Cup Dry White Wine 2 Quarts of Water Directions 1.