Atlantic Goliath Grouper - Epinephelus itajara

Cernia gigante atlantica Epinephelus itajara Serranidae intotheblue.it Atlantic goliath grouper or itajara (Epinephelus itajara), also known as the jewfish, is a large saltwater fish of the grouper family found primarily in shallow tropical waters among coral and artificial reefs at depths from 5 to 50 m (16 to 164 ft). Cernia gigante atlantica Epinephelus itajara Serranidae intotheblue.it

Its range includes the Florida Keys in the US, the Bahamas, most of the Caribbean and most of the Brazilian coast. On some occasions, it is caught off the coasts of the US states of New England off Maine and Massachusetts. In the eastern Atlantic Ocean, it occurs from the Congo to Senegal.

giovane Cernia Gigante atlantica - young Goliath Grouper - intotheblue.it

giovane Cernia Gigante atlantica – young Goliath Grouper – intotheblue.it

Description

Young Atlantic goliath grouper may live in brackish estuaries, oyster beds, canals, and mangrove swamps, which is unusual behavior among groupers.

They may reach extremely large sizes, growing to lengths up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) and can weigh as much as 360 kg (790 lb). The world record for a hook-and-line-captured specimen is 308.44 kg (680.0 lb), caught off Fernandina Beach, Florida, in 1961. They are usually around 180 kg (400 lb) when mature. Considered of fine food quality, Atlantic goliath grouper were a highly sought-after quarry for fishermen.

It is a relatively easy prey for spear fishermen because of the grouper’s inquisitive and generally fearless nature. They also tend to spawn in large aggregations, returning annually to the same locations. This makes them particularly vulnerable to mass harvesting while breeding.

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 Vulnerable species by the IUCNThe US began protection in 1990, and the Caribbean in 1993. The species’ population has been recovering since the ban; with the fish’s slow growth rate, however, some time will be needed for populations to return to their previous levels.

Goliath groupers eat crustaceans, other fish, octopodes, young sea turtlessharks, and barracudas. They are known to attack divers, and have even been seen attacking large lemon sharks.

 

giovane Cernia Gigante atlantica - young Goliath Grouper - intotheblue.it

giovane Cernia Gigante atlantica – young Goliath Grouper – intotheblue.it

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_goliath_grouper

 

 

Giovane Cernia Gigante Atlantica

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