Fish ID >>Reef/Wreck 

golaith-grouper

Goliath Grouper

Epinephelus itajara

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

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