Pacific goliath grouper
|Pacific goliath grouper|
The Pacific goliath grouper is found primarily in shallow tropical waters among coral and artificial reefs at depths of up to 165 feet (50 m). Their range includes the area from the Gulf of California to Peru.
Young groupers may live in brackish estuaries, and canals.
They may reach extremely large sizes, growing to lengths of 8.2 feet (2.5 m) and can weigh as much as 800 pounds (363 kg). They are usually around 400 lb when mature. The goliath grouper's inquisitive and generally fearless nature make it a relatively easy prey for spear fishermen. They also tend to spawn in large aggregations returning like clockwork to the same locations making them particularly vulnerable to mass harvesting. Unlike its cousin, the Atlantic goliath grouper, the Pacific grouper was relatively unharmed by fishing but it still will probably warrant protection soon.
Goliath groupers are believed to be protogynous hermaphrodites, with individuals first maturing as females and only some large adults becoming males. Most grouper follow this pattern, but it has not yet been verified for the goliath. In fact, Bullock et al. found that males could be sexually mature at smaller sizes (~1150mm) and younger ages (4-6 years) than females (~1225mm and ~6-8 years).
- http://www.bio.fsu.edu/coleman_lab/goliath_grouper.php Florida State University Coleman and Koenig Research Laboratory
- http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/gallery/descript/goliathgrouper/goliathgrouper.html Florida Museum of Natural History
- Bullock et al. (1992) Age, Growth and Reproduction in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico U.S. Fishery Bulletin 90(2):243-249 retrieved April 8, 2008 from http://myfwc.com/Marine/grouper/goliath_grouper/reports.htm[dead link]