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Scientific Name

Epinephelus striatus

Stock Status

Overfishing – No

Overfished – Unknown

Regulations

Recreational Commercial
Season CLOSED Season CLOSED
Minimum Size Limit n/a Minimum Size Limit n/a
Bag Limit HARVEST PROHIBITED Trip Limit HARVEST PROHIBITED

Description

Nassau grouper is found in tropical western Atlantic waters including Florida to the Yucatan Peninsula, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean Sea south to Brazil.  The population of Nassau grouper is limited in the Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan, Tortugas and areas around Key West.  In general, this fish is a brownish color with darker brown bars on its head and body, a black saddle-like blotch at the base of its tail and a tuning-fork shaped stripe on the top of its head.  It also has small dark spots around its eyes.  In deeper water, this fish tends to be more pinkish red in color on its belly.  This grouper species may change color to camouflage itself or depending on its mood.

 

Maximum observed age:  29 years1

Age at maturity:  5 years1

Maximum weight:  55.12 pounds (25 kilograms)2

Maximum length:  48.03 inches (122 centimeters)3

Life History and Distribution

Nassau grouper can be found from shore to approximately 300 feet (91 meters).  Adult fish are solitary, swimming over coral reefs and rocky bottoms while juveniles are found in seagrass beds closer to shore.  This grouper exhibits complex spawning behaviors.  It will migrate long distances to form large spawning aggregations that form along the outer shelf in relation to the full moon and display courtship behaviors during spawning events.  Spawning is estimated to occur from December to February in the Gulf of Mexico.1

References

  1. Kobara, S., B. Erisman, W. Heyman, C. Biggs, N. Farmer, S. Lowerre-Barbieri, M. Karnauskas, and J. Brenner. 2017. Cooperative monitoring program for spawning aggregations in the Gulf of Mexico: data portal. Version 1.0 GCOOS, USA.
  2. Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall, 1993. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 16. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephelinae). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the grouper, rockcod, hind, coral grouper and lyretail species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(16):382 p.
  3. Humann, P. and N. Deloach, 1993. Reef fish identification. Galápagos. New World Publications, Inc., Florida. 267 p.