January 10, 2018

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This just in from our partners at Shark Team One regarding Goliath Groupers in the Coastal Southeast Florida Hope Spot!


There is controversy over this large, lovable and docile creature! Even though most Floridians and people across the world know that goliath groupers are critically endangered, other people want to allow a select open season on this iconic fish due to the false belief that its numbers have increased enough to justify such a slaughter.

Goliath groupers are extinct in most of their worldwide range and an official (SEDAR) stock assessment was done in Florida waters in 2016 but the results were thrown out due to lack of reliable indicators of the abundance of goliath groupers outside Florida, according to the FWC website.

(c) Shark Team One volunteer, Marie Dugan. “Wilbur” the goliath grouper poses for a photo during an ecotourism dive off the coast of South Florida.

Goliath groupers are critically endangered! Divers flock to South Florida from all over the world to see these amazing creatures, creating ecotourism dollars and livelihoods for local dive shops, dive operators, tour operators, photographers and generating revenue for towns along the coast of Florida. Most of the large goliath groupers divers know by name since the animals return to South Florida each summer to form a spawning aggregation. Goliath groupers are a keystone species since other species in the Florida ecosystem depend on this large fish and if it were to be removed from our waters, the ecosystem would change drastically.

There is still time to voice your opinion online or in person at the April Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, scheduled for April 25th and 26th.

Although the full agenda for the meeting has not officially been set by FWC, we have been told by a FWC representative that the goliath grouper discussion will continue and will include a review of public input to date and a discussion about the fate of the goliath grouper in Florida waters.

(c) Shark Team One volunteer, Marie Dugan. Goliath Groupers eat their main prey (the calico crab) by opening their large mouths in a rapid expansion movement that causes the prey to be sucked in.

Help us save critically endangered goliath groupers! Voice your opinion to FWC at the link below, share this post and attend the April FWC meeting if you live in or near Florida. Help save the iconic endangered species of the world’s oceans before it’s too late and help us keep the “Hope” in our Coastal Southeast Florida Hope Spot!”

Information on current FWC goliath grouper rules, stock assessment and goliath grouper biology can be found at this link:

http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/goliath-grouper

Please leave constructive conservation comments for FWC consideration at the following link:

http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/rulemaking/comments/#Form 

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