Goliath Grouper in the Gulf

Vimeo Link:  https://vimeo.com/263665090

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/V8OYYyfxWoA

Team Members:

Angela Collins, Florida Sea Grant and Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission

Carlos Monzon-Aguirre, Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission

Summary:

Atlantic Goliath Grouper are known to grow to sizes exceeding 8 feet and 800 pounds. Due to their large size and catchability, the species was listed as critically endangered and in 1990 harvest was banned. This study provides information regarding presence, abundance, and size distribution of Atlantic Goliath Grouper within the central eastern Gulf of Mexico thereby providing valuable baseline data. Results indicate Atlantic Goliath Grouper have high site fidelity and are abundant at shipwrecks and similar artificial reefs. Tagged individuals ranged in lengths from 36 to 214 cm and were documented to move distances ranging 10-203 km. Although Atlantic Goliath Grouper has responded encouragingly to protective measures in the US; the population's recovery should be thoroughly evaluated before altering regulatory guidelines. The results from this study are critical for future management efforts involving this protected species.

Original Publication: 

Collins, Angela, L.R. Barbieri, Philip Motta, Richard S. McBride and E.D. McCoy. 2015. Reef relief and volume are predictors of Atlantic goliath grouper presence and abundance in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Bulletin of Marine Science 91: 399-418

Link to Publication: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/287206071_Reef_relief_and_volume_are_predictors_of_Atlantic_goliath_grouper_presence_and_abundance_in_the_Eastern_Gulf_of_Mexico

By the Numbers

Over 40,000 students in 50 US states, the US Virgin Islands, and 25 countries participated as judges in the 2016 Ocean 180 Video Challenge.

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