VIDEO: Florida Fish and Wildlife Considering Legalizing Limited Goliath Grouper Fishing

By  //  June 28, 2017

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currently legal to only 'catch and release'

ABOVE VIDEO: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering legalizing Goliath grouper fishing, which will allow anglers to catch, and keep, the huge fish (formerly called jewfish) that can reach 8 feet in length and weigh up to 800 pounds. (ABC Action News video)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering legalizing Goliath grouper fishing, which will allow anglers to catch, and keep, the huge fish (formerly called jewfish) that can reach 8 feet in length and weigh up to 800 pounds.

The Florida record is a 680-pound Goliath grouper caught off Fernandina Beach in 1961. The species had been targeted both commercially and recreationally since at least the late 1800s.

Currently, it’s legal to only “catch and release” this species of grouper.

Harvest and possession has been prohibited in both state and federal waters off Florida since 1990 because their populations were declining at the time.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials are considering a random drawing that would allow for 100 permits to catch one goliath grouper a year.

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The giant of the grouper family, the Goliath has brown or yellow mottling with small black spots on the head and fins, a large mouth with jawbones that extend well past its small eyes, and a rounded tail. It also has five dark body bands or stripes that are most visible on young Goliath.

FWC gathering public input on the future management of goliath grouper, including the potential for a limited open season. To comment, visit MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments

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