Ocean First Institute supports science based conservation measures
The Atlantic Goliath Grouper is the largest of the western north Atlantic
groupers. It can reach about 800 pounds and over 6 feet in total length, and they can
live to 37 years of age. They mature at 5 or 6 years of age at about 3 feet in length,
and like many other grouper species they are protogynous hermaphrodites, which involves a
sequential sex change from female to male that occurs after sexual maturity.
Historically, Goliath Grouper were found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic
Ocean, both coasts of Florida, and from the Gulf of Mexico down to the coasts of Brazil and the
Caribbean. Although once abundant in the southeastern United States, in the last 100 years their populations have declined. Nearly 30 years ago the declines were so pronounced, that they were protected from fishing. Today, these protections are being lifted against scientific recommendations. We are continuing to work collaboratively within the scientific, diving and fishing communities to provide science based evidence to overturn this decision.