Yes. This grouper is almost gone from reefs that people have overfished.
Groupers use a “lurk and lunge” plan for feeding on a variety of animals including small sharks and rays, young sea turtles, fish of all sizes, crabs and spiny lobsters. Since a large area of reef is required to support such a large predator, their populations are always relatively low, even in areas that are not regularly disturbed by people.
Yes. The demand for red-grouper especially is so great that the federal government has placed a quota on the number of grouper fish that can be caught. Small fishermen argue that the quota affects them disproportionately for the benefit of large fishing operations.
The term grouper includes a wide range of species. Among them are snowy grouper, nassau grouper, black grouper, red grouper, gag grouper, yellowtail grouper and others. Many of those species are on the do-not-buy lists of seafood that are published by various organizations for responsible consumers. A recent survey conducted by the WWF showed that 20 of 161 species of grouper, a reef fish that makes up a large part of the Coral Triangle’s live fish trade, were threatened with extinction. Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus), valued as a food fish,
but over-harvested — now classified as Endangered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).
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