goliath grouper

Face to Face with Goliaths in the Gulf

Posted Sat, Sep 18, 2010 by Emily Fisher to diving, fish, goliath grouper, gulf of mexico marine life, oceana gulf expedition

In today’s expedition update from Dustin, Oceana’s divers get up close and personal with some rare giants of the gulf:

It was another day of diving for the crew onboard the Oceana Latitude. Today’s site was nearly 15 miles from Port St. Joe and is home to Sherman Tug, a vessel that was sunk in 1996 and now sits upright 75-feet underwater.

This sunken ship is covered in gorgonians and sponges and inhabited by schools of grunts, spadefish and almaco jacks. In addition to spotting a blue angelfish and leopard toadfish, the divers saw two goliath groupers, one weighing approximately 100 pounds and the second nearly double that size.

These inquisitive giants were in steep decline until the U.S. government imposed a ban on catching the species in 1990. Although a slow growth rate makes rebuilding their populations a slow process, it’s gratifying to see them up close and personal.

Here’s a video by Gorka Leclercq:

Oceana Dive Operation at Sherman Tug near Port St. Joe 09.17.10 from Oceana on Vimeo.


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