Unafraid of just about anything they come in contact with in their natural wreck and reef habitats, goliath groupers can weigh as much as 800 pounds and measure 6 or more feet in length. Scientists think they can live as long as 50 or even 100 years.
Protected from harvest in United States waters since 1990, populations of the behemoth fish have steadily grown to the point where it’s uncommon not to see one or more of these fish in their preferred habitats. But that may be about to change. This video has more.
The Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering opening a limited season via a lottery drawing that would allow 100 fisherman to harvest one goliath grouper per year. Fishermen claim that the fish are eating their way through lobster, crab and fish populations at an unsustainable rate. Scientists say that overfishing is the reason for the decline in shellfish populations, not the goliath groupers. The FWC is currently hearing public comments on the matter.