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Goliath Grouper  - Epinephelus itajara
Photo by Bill Goodwin

The goliath grouper has a brown to olive-green body with dark spots over its body and fins. It grows to 4-8 feet and lives between 10-100 feet deep. The goliath grouper used to be fairly common but has been greatly reduced due to overfishing. The population has shown some signs of recovery since this species was first protected from fishing in 1990.

Goliath Grouper
(Epinephelus itajara)

Western Atlantic: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas to Brazil, Gulf of Mexico, Eastern Atlantic off Africa, Eastern Pacific from Gulf of California to Peru

Caves, wrecks and under ledges

Crustaceans (spiny lobsters, shrimps and crabs), fishes, octopus, and young sea turtles


The status of this species is representative of the populations within the waters of this Sanctuary only, not global populations.

Quick Fact
The goliath grouper, is the largest fish found around reefs and can grow to 8 feet in length and weigh more than 700 lbs. This species is known to grow slowly and live up to 37 years.

Learn More
- Florida Museum of Natural History
- FishBase