Posted by: reefrescue | December 26, 2013

Goliath Grouper Protection Under Attack

The Miami Herald reports board members and staff from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, the South Atlantic Management Council and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will meet Jan. 7-9 in Key Largo to consider reopening the Goliath grouper fishery.

“There’s been a lot of interest, especially from the gulf side where they’re seeing more [Goliath grouper], in reopening that fishery,” Mahood [executive director of the federal South Atlantic Fishery Management Council,] said. It has been nearly a quarter of a century since a ban on legally harvesting a Goliath grouper — then known as a jewfish — was enacted in 1990.”

Goliath07-0153

Only within the last few years have Goliaths returned to their ancestral spawning grounds offshore of Palm Beach County. Each August through October spawning aggregations of these 500 lbs. giants amass by the hundreds on coastal shipwrecks guaranteeing a spectacle seen nowhere else in the hemisphere. The Palm Beach County aggregations have become a major tourist draw for the dive industry. Because of the Goliath’s predictable behavior they are an easy target by fishers. The protection of these spawning sites is essential for the survival of the species.

Scuba divers and conservationist are outraged by this development. After learning of the Fishery meeting a petition to protect the Goliaths was quickly posted online. We strongly urge you to sign it. Petition: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/save-the-goliath-grouper.fb77?source=c.fb&r_by=9731813

Here is a just one of many videos shot by local divers highlighting this year’s aggregation on the M/V Castor in Boynton Beach. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxawTkRz9yA

To learn more about these magnificent fish visit Grouper Luna (http://grouperluna.wordpress.com/)

Miami Herald: Ban on harvesting Goliath grouper is revisited. Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/25/3837358/ban-on-harvesting-goliath-grouper.html

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Responses

  1. […] To learn more about the Goliaths see: https://reefrescue.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/goliath-grouper-protection-under-attack/ […]


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