Description: Head and fins covered with small black spots; irregular dark vertical bars present on the sides of body; pectoral and caudal fin rounded; first dorsal fin shorter than not separated from second dorsal; adults huge, up to 800 pounds; eyes small.
Similar Fish: Other grouper.
Where Found: Nearshore around docks, in deep holes, and on ledges; young often occur in estuaries, especially around oyster bars; more abundant in southern Florida than in northern waters.
Size: Largest of the grouper.
Remarks: Spawns over summer months; lifespan of 30 to 50 years; feeds on crustaceans and fish.
Note: Goliath Grouper are protected from harvest by law in Florida waters. Do not attempt to harvest.
Illustration: © Diane Rome Peebles