VIDEO: Goliath Grouper Swallows 5-Foot Shark Whole
By Space Coast Daily // August 22, 2014
'goliath' grouper appeared out of nowhere
ABOVE VIDEO: A group of fisherman off the coast of Bonita Springs, Florida, caught a 5-foot shark this month and were just about ready to haul in their catch, were stunned when a “goliath” grouper appeared out of nowhere to swallowing it whole.
The Atlantic goliath grouper or itajara (Epinephelus itajara), commonly known as the jewfish, is a large saltwater fish of the grouper family found primarily in shallow tropical waters among coral and artificial reefs at depths from 16 to 164 feet.
Its range includes the Bahamas, most of the Caribbean, and practically all of the Brazilian coast, as well as in Azores, where they are known as mero.
On some occasions, it is caught in New England off Maine and Massachusetts. In the eastern Atlantic Ocean, it occurs from the Congo to Senegal.
They may reach extremely large sizes, growing to lengths of up to 10 feet and can weigh as much as 790 pounds. The world record for a hook and line-captured specimen is 681 pounds, caught off Fernandina Beach, Florida, in 1961.
They are usually around 400 pouunds when mature. Considered of fine food quality, Atlantic goliath grouper were a highly sought-after quarry for fishermen.
The grouper’s inquisitive and generally fearless nature makes it a relatively easy prey for spear fishermen.
They also tend to spawn in large aggregations, returning like clockwork to the same locations, making them particularly vulnerable to mass harvesting.