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Atlantic Goliath Grouper
Paul Katsus is a Katy, Texas angular who plans to someday catch the relatively rare Atlantic
Goli...
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Atlantic Goliath Grouper

The monster fish of reef is the Atlantic Goliath Grouper. The world record caught off the Florida coast weighed a staggering 680 pounds.

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Atlantic Goliath Grouper

  1. 1. Atlantic Goliath Grouper Paul Katsus is a Katy, Texas angular who plans to someday catch the relatively rare Atlantic Goliath Grouper. Paul Katsus would relish the idea of catching a monster fish that can grow to 8 foot in length and weigh up to 790 pounds! The world record for the Atlantic Grouper is 680 pounds and was caught off the Florida coast at Fernandina Beach, in 1961. The Atlantic Grouper is protected from harvest and is recognized as a critically endangered species by the ICUN. Any Atlantic Grouper caught would be under a legal catch and return basis. In the US, protection began in 1990, and the Caribbean soon followed in 1993. Fortunately since the ban, the species' population has been recovering but because of the fish's slow growth rate, it will be some time before the populations to return to their previous levels. Goliath Grouper feed on crustaceans, other fish, young sea turtles, barracudas and even sharks. In fact, they have been observed attacking large lemon sharks and usually feed on other large fishes. They have also been known to sometimes attack divers. Interestingly, do not chew they their prey but rather they swallow them whole. The Goliath Grouper, a predator hunter, will usually ambush its prey on the reefs. Reefs that contain healthy numbers of predators, like the Atlantic Goliath Grouper, are healthier reefs. This makes them a very important part of the life cycle of a vibrant reef. The young Atlantic Goliath Grouper may not live on the reefs but rather in brackish estuaries, on oyster beds, canals, and in mangrove swamps. The Atlantic Goliath Grouper range on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, The Caribbean Sea, and off the west coast of Africa. The Pacific Goliath Grouper is a genetically similar species that range from the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, from Mexico to Peru. The two species are similar is both appearance and behavior, but because there has been less research and records on the species, little is known about the population trends or conservation status of the Pacific Goliath Grouper. .

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