Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The itajara or goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara), also known as the goliath grouper. The name "jewfish" was considered objectionable and was officially dropped in favor of the goliath grouper by the American Fisheries Society in 2001.
Due to their extremely large size (over 600 lbs when mature), and fine food quality, the goliath grouper were a highly sought after quarry for fishermen of all types. The goliath grouper's inquisitive and generally fearless nature make 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. Until a harvest ban was placed on the species in 1990, the species was in rapid decline.
The species' population has been recovering since the ban, however with the fish's slow growth rate it will take some time for populations to return to their previous levels.
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