Giants of the Deep – Goliath Grouper
The goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) is a large fish that inhabits tropical and subtropical waters. It can be found in the eastern Pacific, western Atlantic, and eastern Atlantic Ocean from Florida to Brazil, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico usually in shallow reefs and along structures such as oyster beds, mangroves, rock and coral reefs and artificial reefs like oil rigs. Goliath groupers are unlike most members of the grouper family because they can be found in brackish water.
Prior to 1990, the goliath grouper was recreationally and commercially fished. However, overfishing and environmental factors caused a decline in the population. The goliath grouper is listed as critically endangered on the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is now a federally protected species. The goliath grouper was formerly known as the Jewfish until 2001 when the American Fisheries Society (AFS) determined that the name was culturally insensitive and adopted the name that is used today.
National Hunting and Fishing Day Events Set
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host National Hunting and Fishing Day (NHFD) events on Sept. 24 in Haughton, Woodworth and West Monroe. This year’s event in Baton Rouge, however, has been cancelled.
The Baton Rouge NHFD event was set for the Waddill Outdoor Education Center. But the facility and surrounding businesses sustained damage during the historic flood that decimated parts of southern Louisiana.
More articles in this month’s edition of Lagniappe:
- Recreational Red Snapper State Season
- Fish Gear Coordinates- July 2016
- Important Dates & Upcoming Events
- Louisiana Shrimp Watch
- The Gumbo Pot – Cedar Plank Redfish