WHAT IS A GROUPER?
This legendary reef fish can easily weigh more then a small boat in some cases. This lethargic fish with their giant months are not built for speed or distance. What they lack in teeth they make up for with a vacuum-cleaner like mouth that sucks their prey in from a distance. And with 3 to 5 rows of teeth in their lower jaw, this isn’t a pleasant experience. The most famous, the Goliath grouper, is found in the tropical waters of Mexico and the Caribbean. They can grow to over 800 lbs (360 kg.) in size!
WHERE DO GROUPERS COME FROM?
They’re thought to have originated in the East Atlantic during the mid-Eocene era (about 40 million years ago). Over time they evolved in multiple regions in 6 distinct “clades” (a group of organisms that are derived from a common ancestor).
WHEN ARE GROUPERS IN SEASON?
In areas like the Gulf of Mexico they are a summer and fall fish. However since 1990 it has been illegal to catch the Goliath grouper.
DO GOLIATH GROUPERS ATTACH HUMANS?
There are no documented cases of this fish killing humans. However when it comes to poaching, schoolyard lunch money rules seem to apply.
ARE GROUPERS HIGH IN MERCURY?
Being higher up in the food chain this fish can contain moderate levels of mercury. However in the Caribbean there have also been repeated instances of Cigautera poisoning.