Grouper (Goliath)


The Goliath grouper, scientifically known as Epinephelus‌ itajara, is a large species⁢ of grouper that belongs to the family Serranidae. It is one ⁣of the largest ‌species of bony fishes found in Atlantic and Pacific Coasts.

Conservation Status

As of the present, the Goliath grouper is listed as critically⁢ endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Conservation ⁢efforts are mainly focused on habitat protection and enforcing fishing restrictions.


Statistics Average Range
Length 3.3 ft 4.6 – 8.2 ft
Weight 400 lbs 100 – 800​ lbs
Average Lifespan 37 years


The Goliath grouper is commonly found⁤ in the Atlantic Ocean,‍ particularly in regions such as the Florida Keys, Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, and Brazil. They are known ‌to be homebodies, ‌having a low tendency to migrate.


  • Water type: Marine and Brackish
  • Depth range: Commonly found at depths of 16 to 82 feet
  • Temperature range: ⁣ Prefers warmer waters ⁤of 68 – 88°F

When and Where to See

Goliath groupers are most active and easily observed during the spawning season, which is July ‌to September. They are typically encountered during the daylight hours.

Best Fishing Locations

  1. Florida Keys, USA
  2. Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
  3. Fernando de Noronha, ‌Brazil
  4. Andros Island, Bahamas
  5. Koh Tao, Thailand
  6. Mauritius ⁢Island, Mauritius
  7. Blue Hole, Belize
  8. Roatan, Honduras
  9. Cozumel, Mexico
  10. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

If specific locations aren’t known, look for coral reefs and mangroves which are their preferred ⁢habitats.

How to Catch

Given their protected status, catching Goliath groupers is not recommended. However, for observational and research purposes, they are attracted to‌ large bait such as crabs and squid as well as shiny lures. Common fishing techniques include bottom fishing. Best time to ⁤observe these creatures are during their​ active ​breeding period –‌ mid-summer to early fall.

Identification Guide

The Goliath grouper is easily identified by its large size, with full-grown adults usually being 2.5 to 3.5 ft long. They are also distinguishable by their mottled yellow-brown ⁤to grey color, with dark markings that form a rough, hexagonal pattern on the body.


Though it’s illegal ⁢to catch and cook Goliath grouper due to its critically endangered status, those ⁢who have had the opportunity describe its meat as mild in⁢ flavor with a sweet undertone. The texture is a unique blend of‍ firm and flaky.

Additional Information

Goliath groupers are known to⁤ be solitary‌ creatures with diets consisting mainly of spiny lobsters, fish, and occasionally small sea ⁢turtles. The main predators of the Goliath grouper include ​sharks, barracudas, and humans. Overfishing has led to a ‌stark decrease in their population numbers, leading ⁢to their ⁣current critically endangered status.

References and Further Reading