Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
March 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 48, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

Florida Goliath Grouper Protection Battle Lost

from the March, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Thanks to overfishing, the Goliath grouper, slow-growing, and slow-to-reproduce, nearly became extinct off Florida's coast. But they were saved after the state declared them off-limits in 1990. On March 3, that changed.

Ignoring a preponderance of scientists, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission next year will annually issue 200 harvest permit tags for anglers to catch the fish north of Jupiter and 50 additional tags to harvest them from Everglades National Park waters. The fish caught must range between 24 and 36 inches, so the giants we divers love to see are still off-limits but allowing younger fish to be caught ultimately reduces the breeding population.

Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D., marine biologist, Fulbright fellow, and researcher on behavior and ecology of ocean giants, posted on Twitter that the decision "will start the path towards extinction.

"Scientific evidence shows the population cannot support a kill fishery, due to numbers of breeding adults going down, consistently, since 2016, existing stressors that kill Goliaths (red tides, cold fronts), and shrinking critical nursery habitat (e.g., fringing red mangroves, recent ecological collapse of the Indian River Lagoon).

"More than 90 percent of public comments submitted during previous meetings (fishers, divers, businesses) reject the proposed kill fishery because Goliath groupers are more valuable alive than dead, through the dive ecotourism industry.

"Due to high methyl mercury content in Goliath grouper, approving a kill fishery for human consumption endangers public health."

Why did the FWC do this? They caved to the sportfishing lobby.

I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2024 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.