Saturday, April 13, 2024

Study Highlights The Decline Of The Goliath Grouper Population


New research has shed light on the plight of the Goliath Grouper and the fact that its population has declined since 2013.

The researchers looked at data about resident Goliath Grouper populations at six sites off Jupiter, Florida, between 2013 and 2022. They found the population had declined in all but one location.

The news is troubling for the Goliath Grouper population, which was on the brink of extinction in the 1980s and only recovered due to a ban on commercial and recreational harvest of the species. It is worth noting that despite the decline, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in its wisdom, saw fit to allow the harvesting of up to 200 individual Goliath Groupers in 2023.

The research was led by Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium Fisheries Habitat Ecology and Acoustics Research Program Manager Dr. James Locascio, who stated:

“The Atlantic Goliath grouper is currently categorized as ‘vulnerable’ on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. It is a long-lived species native to Florida and is an essential species for the maintenance of a balanced ecosystem. We do not want the population of this species to decline.”

While Mote President and CEO Dr. Michael Crosby added:

“Mote scientists conduct today’s research for tomorrow’s ocean through innovative science and technology to help navigate the challenges of ensuring oceans thrive for generations to come. The results of this particular study by Dr. Locascio and his colleagues will provide valuable insights into Goliath grouper population dynamics as the State of Florida reopened a limited harvest on the species after a 32-year moratorium.”

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for