Is It Legal To Catch Goliath Grouper In Florida?

Since 1990, keeping goliath grouper, an aptly named fish that can grow to 800 pounds, has been illegal in Florida.

Did Florida lift the ban on goliath grouper?

Despite opposition from scientists and divers, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted yesterday to lift the ban on catching Goliath grouper , an embattled species that was nearly fished to extinction in the 1980s.

Can you now keep goliath grouper?

Goliath grouper over 36 inches in length will continue to be prohibited from harvest as well as those in heavy dive ecotourism areas This limited harvest is not intended to address fishing depredation concerns.

Can you keep and eat a goliath grouper?

You can’t eat them The mercury can cause erectile dysfunction, so those who harvest them will just take a photo and let the carcass rot,” Sarah Frias-Torres, a marine researcher who has worked extensively on goliath groupers off the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches.

How do I get a goliath grouper tag in Florida?

  • A random-draw lottery will award one permit and tag per person per year.
  • The lottery application fee will be $10 and a permit fee will cost $150 for Florida residents and $500 for nonresidents.

Why are goliath grouper still protected?

The large size, slow growth, low reproductive rate, and spawning behavior have made the goliath grouper especially susceptible to overfishing. The goliath grouper is totally protected from harvest and is recognized as a “Critically Endangered” species by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

How much does it cost to catch a goliath grouper?

Price: $500 – $1500 Depends on # of people and location. Discount for Veterans. Call 239.633.

What happens if you get caught with a goliath grouper?

What to do when you’ve caught a goliath grouper? Harvest and possession has been prohibited in both state and federal waters off Florida since 1990. Must be immediately returned to the water free, alive and unharmed Photographs can be taken but only during the active act of release.

Is there a grouper shortage in Florida?

Florida lifted its three-decade ban on catching and killing goliath groupers Thursday with state officials enacting a highly restricted catch of 200 annually , saying the coastal fish’s numbers have rebounded sufficiently since they were driven to near-extinction.

Is grouper in season in Florida now?

Grouper, Scamp – s u l Season: Atlantic – Closed Jan. 1–April 30 Gulf – open year-round.

What size grouper is legal in Florida?

The minimum size limit for gag grouper is 24 inches total length and the daily bag limit is two fish per harvester within the four grouper aggregate bag limit. Charter captains and crew have a zero bag limit.

How many grouper can you keep in Florida?

Gulf Grouper Aggregate Bag Limit – all species of grouper in the Gulf are included in a 4 fish per har- vester per day aggregate bag limit in any combina- tion of grouper species. Seasons – If no seasonal information is provided, the species is open year-round.

Is goliath grouper tasty?

What Does Goliath Grouper Taste Like? As with other varieties of grouper, the Goliath grouper has a mild taste with a slightly sweet underlying flavor It has been described as not having a very fishy taste and it falls somewhere between the flavor of a seabass and a halibut.

What is the world record goliath grouper?

According to American Oceans, the world record Goliath grouper is a 680-pound monster caught in 1961. The fish was caught by an angler who fought the fish for over an hour.

What’s the biggest goliath grouper?

As of 2021, the largest Goliath Grouper recorded caught in the wild is 680 pounds on the Southern coast of Florida. Anglers reeled the Grouper in May of 1961. In June 2021, another group of fishermen in Florida caught an almost-as-gargantuan Goliath that weighed in at about 500 pounds.

How much do goliath groupers weigh?

Let’s look at the average weight of the Goliath Grouper, as an example. This fish will generally reach a weight of around 400 pounds However, there have been some much larger fish caught. One in Florida that was caught with a hook and line weighed 680 pounds.

Are gag grouper in season?

Gag grouper will open for recreational harvest in most state Gulf of Mexico waters and all federal Gulf waters June 1, and will remain open through Dec. 31. Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor and Jefferson counties opened April 1 and will remain open through June 30.

Are grouper endangered in Florida?

Until 2018, goliath groupers were classified as critically endangered throughout their range, in tropical and subtropical Atlantic waters, in large part because of overfishing. In Florida, where they’re mainly concentrated on reefs around the southern coast, fishing for the species hasn’t been allowed since 1990.

Which grouper is best to eat?

Black Grouper is considered one of the best eating fish in the ocean.

Can you keep goliath grouper in the Bahamas?

“While not currently protected by law in The Bahamas, they are very rare and we strongly advise against catching them ,” Mrs McKinney-Lambert wrote. “Goliath groupers are totally protected from harvest in US state and federal waters.

What is the fine for keeping a goliath grouper in Florida?

Goliath grouper have been protected in state and federal waters off Florida since 1990. In state waters, harvesting goliath grouper is punishable by a fine up to $500 per fish and up to 60 days in jail.

How do you fish a goliath grouper?

Large Goliath Grouper are almost exclusively caught on live or dead bait. The key to successful Goliath Grouper fishing is anchoring close enough to the reef or wreck so that they will come out to eat your bait, but far enough away that you have a chance of pulling them away before they get back and break you off.

Why is grouper so expensive right now?

Grouper: Price. As mentioned previously, due to their preferred habitat domestic Grouper is more difficult to get to As a consequence, especially when combined with high demand, they are generally more expensive.

Can grouper be farm raised?

Grouper farming will expand threefold from 2008 levels , with accompanying needs for additional grouper fry and culturing technology. Most grouper are currently farmed in Asia. Among the top producing countries are China (61 percent), Taiwan (14 percent) and Indonesia (13 percent), followed by Malaysia (9 percent).

How much is grouper per pound in Florida?

Because the supply of domestic grouper is limited and the demand great, it is typically a more expensive fish to purchase than others. Wholesale fillet values are generally between $11 to $13 per pound , which means retail value, what consumers pay, is typically even higher.

Can you take goliath grouper out of water?

FWC’s website says, ” Removing smaller goliath groupers from the water to remove hooks is not necessarily a bad practice, but this process must be done with care” So, presumably it’s okay to boat a small goliath for the purpose of venting it.

What is the best month to catch grouper?

The best time of year to fish for gag grouper in the shallows would be from October through the end of the season in December , however, they can be caught all year long. Since these fish are so strong on their initial run we use extremely heavy tackle to keep them out of the structure and into your cooler.

Where is the best place to catch grouper Florida?

Pensacola has one of the largest man-made reefs in the world just offshore, so it’s the perfect place to find and catch grouper. The Oriskany Memorial Reef is also called “the Great Carrier Reef”, and it provides groupers with tons of cover to hide from their prey – this attracts plenty of groupers for you to catch.


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