Goliath Grouper

The giant Goliath Grouper is arguably one the most dramatic fish spotted on Key West scuba diving trips. Large mature specimens are kings of the reef, with no natural predators. Goliath Groupers range the shallow tropical waters of the western Atlantic Ocean from Florida, through the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, and south along nearly the entire Brazilian coastline. The Goliath Grouper is a type of Sea Bass rather than a true Grouper. It is the largest member of the Sea Bass family found in the western Atlantic, reaching weights of 800 lbs. and lengths of more than 8 feet. Goliath Groupers typically inhabit natural and artificial reefs in water depths of 16 to 160 feet, preferring areas that have rock, coral, or mud bottoms and high-relief features such as ledges, caves, and holes that can provide refuge. These fish are more abundant in southern Florida than in the northern waters, and around Key West, Goliath Groupers can be found on nearly any type of wreck or other structure that has enough relief to provide shelter for a fish this large.

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