After a public meeting on 26 April, the Florida Wildlife Commission has postponed the decision on opening a harvest of critically endangered goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara). This mean that although there is no immediate plan to reopen them to fishing, the commissioners did not commit to any form of permanent protection and in fact stated that if studies show that the species number have “increased,” fishing will resume.
Current studies do not show any evidence of an increase. Anglers cite anecdotal evidence suggesting that “the voracious fish are taking over reefs and gobbling up their catches.” There is no statistical or scientific evidence to support this view.
Images by Alan C Egan.