Should the Goliath Grouper be Protected?


Photo Credit to ABC News

Noah Blaskovich, Staff Writer

The Goliath Grouper is the largest grouper in the ocean. They live in most parts of the world where there is plenty of food sources and or reefs. Goliath Groupers are known to get up to 800 pounds, and since 1990, it was and still is illegal to keep them.

In the 1990’s, Many people were catching and killing these animals for fun because they would eat all of the good “eating fish” even though Goliath’s diet is mostly crabs and eels. Due to the mass killing of these sea creatures, populations of many different types of fish, including the Goliath, went into a steep decline.

Almost 20 years later, Goliaths are known to be abundant near reefs and even inshore bridges and docks, annihilating anything that looks appetizing. I was fishing on my boat a couple months ago and hooked a trophy fish and, right as the fish was coming up to the boat, all I saw was a massive  “Shadow-like” figure coming towards it. Before I could blink my eyes, the Goliath inhaled my trophy fish and it was gone forever. Commercial fisherman lose business due to the decline in populations, which is, in part, thanks to the Goliath Grouper. Some of these fish include: Permit, Snook, Redfish, Snapper and even smaller grouper and sharks, making it harder to make money off of fishing.

Scientists still believe that the Goliath Grouper should stay on the protected list and should not be kept by commercial or private fishermen. In my opinion, the Goliath’s population is larger than ever and every fisherman should be able to keep at least 2 or 3 a month. I have had many incidents where Goliaths would eat my sought after fish. Therefore, I believe that if we can catch and keep some of them, it would sustain the environment and the populations of other species.