The New England Aquarium recently recorded a sighting of a goliath grouper during a scientific research expedition of the coral reefs in Belize.
The huge fish, which can grow as large as 8.2 feet (2.5 m) and can weigh as much as 800 pounds, is considered of fine food quality. Atlantic goliath grouper were a highly sought after quarry for fishermen of all types. The grouper’s inquisitive and generally fearless nature makes it a relatively easy prey for spear fishermen. They also tend to spawn in large aggregations, returning like clockwork to the same locations, making them particularly vulnerable to mass harvesting. Until a harvest ban was placed on the species, its population was in rapid decline. The fish is entirely protected from harvest and is recognized as a critically endangered species by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).
Though rarely, the goliath grouper is occasionally spotted on Glover’s Reef, and when it happens it is always an awesome experience. Come dive with us on Long Caye.