Goliath Grouper, an Historic and Easy Kill, Ready to Happen Again? SLR/IRL

The population increase of the Goliath Grouper is one of those rare “feel-good” conservation success stories. With the help of a 1990 law of protection, the species has come back from being historically over-hunted.

I was recently contacted by advocate goliath grouper protectionist, Ms. Katie Carlsson, who spurned my interest in the debate to “reopen hunting on the species.” I also knew I could share my mother’s plethora of historic St Lucie River “Jew Fish” photos labeled such during the non-politically correct era that was part of my childhood and before. In today’s blog post the original terminology is used in the photographs as documented.

Now for today’s “Goliath Grouper!”

I wanted to speak up for Katie’s cause, questioning the reopening of the hunt.  She has forward much information on FWC meeting dates, etc. Thank you Katie.

Before presenting you with many links to explore and opinions to read, I will say, that according to the Snook Foundation, “vast technological improvements in spear guns and diving equipment in the 1960s and 1970s made no wreck, cave or hole safe for Goliath grouper to hide. They have few natural predators and little fear of divers.They are easy prey.”

Of course anglers have the right to argue that the grouper in some areas, like South Florida, have been perhaps “too successful” and believe hunting should be reopened.

My question is if the giant fish will basically look you in the eye and let you kill it, or if there is a question as to the efficacy of the conservation program, why do it? There are so many other fish in the sea. 

Snook Foundation article: http://snookfoundation.org/news/38-general/667-goliath-groupers-harvest-them-or-protect-them.html

These are the locations and dates for future hearings:

Oct. 9: Jacksonville, Pablo Creek Regional Library, 13295 Beach Blvd.
Oct. 10: Titusville, American Police Hall of Fame & Museum, 6350 Horizon Drive.
Oct. 11: Stuart, Flagler Place, 201 SW Flagler Ave.
Oct. 12: Davie, Old Davie School Historical Museum, 6650 Griffin Road.
Oct. 16: Pinellas Park, Bill Jackson’s Shop for Adventure, 9501 U.S. Highway 19 N.
Oct. 17: Port Charlotte, The Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron St.
Oct. 18: Naples, Collier County Public Library – South Regional, 8065 Lely Cultural Parkway
Oct. 25: Tallahassee, FWC Bryant Building, Room 272, 600 S. Meridian St. (6-9 p.m. ET)

More info on meetings here: FWC Goliath Grouper: http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/goliath-grouper/

Man with Goliath Grouper, photo of Harold R. Johns family, c. 1925, St Lucie River, from the archives of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.
Fishermen with Goliath Grouper, Stuart, Florida photo of Harold R. Johns family, c.1925, St Lucie River,  from the archives of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.
Goliath Grouper caught near today’s Roosevelt Bridge in downtown Stuart c. 1920. Photo of Homer Hines Stuart Jr. from the archives of Sandra Henderson Thurlow. (This photo is similar to the one below.)
“This photograph of jewfish suspended from a pole resting on a Florida East Coast Railway car was taken in what was called the hole, a rail spur that went down to the St Lucie River near the Stuart freight depot. (Homer Hines Stuart Jr.)From page 50 of “Stuart on the St Lucie” by Sandra Henderson Thurlow.
“This postcard illustrates the use of President Grover Clevland’s name to promote Stuart. Joseph Jefferson, a famous actor of the day, also fished in the St Lucie River region” in the early late 1800s. Cleveland was president 1885-89 and again in 1893-97. (Photo courtesy of page 51 of “Stuart on the St Lucie” by Sandra Henderson Thurlow.)
Photo by Earl Dyer Ricou, Stuart, Fl,  c. 1950. (Archives of Sandra Henderson Thurlow.)
A dead Goliath Grouper that washed ashore near Bathtub Beach in Martin County, 2011. Goliath Grouper do not spaun until approximately six years of age and are believed to be able to live from 50 to even 100 years of age. They can weigh over 800 pounds. JTL
My corgi, Baron, gives perspective to the size of a Goliath Grouper. 2011, JTL
Courtney of “Fishens Magazine.” Photo taken prior to restrictions put in place in the 1990s. History shows, unfortunately, it is the nature of people to take more than they need.

Links from Katie Carlsson:

Lake Worth Hearing Article: http://www.wpbf.com/article/future-of-goliath-grouper-unclear/11648857

Panama City Articles: http://www.wjhg.com/content/news/440970113.html; http://www.newsherald.com/news/20170821/limited-goliath-grouper-harvest-considered

Florida Channel:

http://thefloridachannel.org/videos/2817-florida-fish-wildlife-conservation-commission-part-1/

http://thefloridachannel.org/videos/2817-florida-fish-wildlife-conservation-commission-part-2/

http://thefloridachannel.org/videos/2817-florida-fish-wildlife-conservation-commission-part-3/

http://thefloridachannel.org/videos/2817-florida-fish-wildlife-conservation-commission-part-4/

This is a link to the hearing in Key Largo. If anyone goes to hearings this can prepare them for what to expect and the information that FFWC is sharing.

http://thefloridachannel.org/videos/8317-florida-fish-wildlife-conservation-commission-goliath-grouper-workshop/

Another good contact is jim_abernethy on Instagram.
http://cbs12.com/news/local/south-florida-conservationist-fights-to-protect-goliath-grouper

This is an article on the commercial diving business point of view- http://www2.padi.com/blog/2017/08/07/goliath-grouper-may-lose-protection-florida/

This is an article to show that Goliaths are already being sold off to wealthy hunters. The CEO of Bass Pro Shops removed four of these fish from the population for a Sporting and Hunting museum he is building in Missouri. These fish are now lost genetically. How many of them died in transit?
http://www.tcpalm.com/story/sports/outdoors/fishing/2017/07/07/goliath-groupers-stuart-ready-move-midwest/457578001/

A post from Dr. Sylvia Earle’s “Mission Blue:”

In the earlier part of the last century, Atlantic goliath groupers were abundant from Florida to Brazil and throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. If you have been lucky enough to be in the water with these creatures, then you appreciate their unflappable personality and awe-inspiring size, which reaches up to 8 feet and 1,000 pounds. The goliath grouper has no natural predators besides large sharks and humans. We are writing with regards to the latter.

Goliath groupers reached commercial extinction in the late 1980s. For this reason, in 1990 a federal and state ban on killing them was implemented for U.S. federal waters and state waters of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, followed by a 1993 ban in the U.S. Caribbean. Twenty-seven years of protection have led to a population increase, although not a recovery to pre-exploitation levels, in the state of Florida alone. Spawning aggregations are forming again off the east coast of Florida. It’s the only place in the world where goliath groupers are now reliably found in significant numbers, as juveniles in mangroves, and as adults in reefs, solitary or forming spawning aggregations. People come from all over the nation and the world to see the goliath grouper spawning aggregations in the late summer, bringing big dollars that boost local economies.

“Diving in the Palm Beaches back in the late 1980s, to see a goliath grouper was the holy grail. Many of us dove year after year, and saw perhaps one, maybe none,” said Deb Castellana of Mission Blue. “To witness the resurgence of the species since protections were enacted has been heartening, a real story of hope.”

Yet, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is currently considering allowing the limited take of goliath groupers in state waters. The proposal would allow the killing of 100 goliath groupers per year for 4 years, for a total of 400 goliath groupers. The sizes targeted are breeding individuals. If implemented, the kill will exterminate most of Florida’s breeding population of goliath groupers, destroying 27 years of conservation management effort. This “limited take” is not supported by scientific evidence. Critics of the goliath grouper say the species is overeating and responsible for declining fish and lobster stocks. Yet, actual scientific data from researchers like Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. show that overfishing, not the goliath groupers, is the reason for declining fish and lobster stocks.

Some say that a “sustainable” take of goliath groupers is possible, but many scientists agree that the current population would not last more than one, or perhaps two years after opening the fishery. And groupers have no nutritional value for humans since they contain levels of mercury that are unsafe for human consumption according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Health.

“I repeatedly asked what scientific evidence the FWC has to support killing the goliath groupers, because all scientific research published to date does not support a fishery for this species and shows the species is highly conservation dependent and highly vulnerable to overfishing,” said Dr. Frias-Torres. “Many don’t realize that goliath groupers actually eat predators of juvenile lobsters, allowing more lobsters to grow to legal size and making more lobsters available to fishers.”

Don DeMaria, a local professional diver, adds, “the annual goliath grouper spawning aggregations that occur off the coast of South Florida are spectacular natural events on a world scale. Efforts by the FWC, and others, to reopen a take of this fish are sure to disrupt, and eventually eliminate this natural wonder.”

If a hunting season is opened on the goliath grouper, the FWC has floated the idea of charging $300 per fish killed. Yet, recreational divers pay around $100 for one goliath grouper sighting. Think of that: a single goliath grouper in the water is supporting local business to the tune of $36,500 per year or more than a million dollars over its lifetime. But one spawning aggregation alone, made by several goliath groupers, generates about half a million dollars a year for one dive business. Financially speaking, that’s a much better investment than collecting a one-time payment of $300 per dead fish.

“Killing goliath groupers will also kill growing economic benefits derived from divers who revel in the opportunity to be in the presence of these iconic animals who are often as curious about us.” – Dr. Sylvia Earle

A Final Message from Katie:

We are aware that the FWC is gathering public input on the possibility of a goliath grouper killing season in Florida. As such, we have called for our supporters to attend one of the many workshops held in the state in August and October, as well as to submit a public comment on FWC’s website. We will also gathering signatures to a petition, which will be delivered to the FWC in anticipation of the goliath grouper decision coming down later this year.

“Although the species has not recovered to pre-exploitation levels, enough goliath groupers are showing up at a few spawning aggregation sites that their presence, and the SCUBA divers that come to visit them, bring a much-needed lifesaver to small businesses in Florida, between late August and early October, just when transition between the summer and winter seasons will leave these businesses in the doldrums,” said Dr. Frias-Torres. “A live goliath grouper is more valuable than a dead one. And living goliaths will keep forming spawning aggregations and contributing to the Florida economy for as long as they live.”

We strongly urge the Commissioners of FWC to maintain protections for goliath groupers in Florida and to deny any requests for opening the fishery. A policy such as this would represent the best interests of the wildlife and humans in Florida, as well as rest on conclusions drawn from the best available science.

HELP US: Ask the FWC to maintain protections for goliath groupers!

You don’t have to live in Florida to help. Please take a moment to tell the FWC to continue protections for the goliaths at this link. Feel free to use the language below as your comment.

“I am disappointed to learn the FWC is considering allowing the taking of goliath groupers. Many countries look up to the United States as a leader in so many fields, including conservation, and here we are about to permit fishermen to take goliaths—a species depleted throughout its range, except Florida—and nursed back to healthy numbers over the course of 27 years of Federal and state protection. We strongly urge you to maintain protections for goliath groupers in Florida and to deny any requests for opening the fishery. A policy such as this would represent the best interests of the wildlife and humans in Florida, as well as rest on conclusions drawn from the best available science.”

I know this is a lot. This is a pretty interesting problem from science, conservation, and politics. The voting in the hearings is by clicker and is shown on the screen so have everyone who goes take a picture and post it. People that are under eighteen can attend and vote. They can also comment online at the FFW link.

Thank you,

Katie Carlsson

Links/JTL:
Fishens Magazine: http://magazine.fishsens.com/survey-study-shows-florida-anglers-want-harvest-goliath-grouper-much-theyll-pay.htm

Melville Spencer’s photo, Florida Memory Project Warsaw grouper (Epinephelus nigritus) caught in the Halifax River displayed at Gene Johnson’s Tackle Shop – Daytona Beach, Florida. https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/140114

14 thoughts on “Goliath Grouper, an Historic and Easy Kill, Ready to Happen Again? SLR/IRL

  1. From Wikipedia – “The Atlantic goliath grouper has been referred to as the jewfish. The name’s origin is unclear, and may have referred to the flesh having a “clean” taste comparable to kosher food, been an insulting suggestion that the fish provided low quality meat and was “only fit for Jews”, or that the word was simply a corruption of jawfish. In 2001, the American Fisheries Society stopped using the term because of concerns that it was culturally insensitive”.

    Interesting article as to the name change.
    http://www.boats.com/on-the-water/name-change-becomes-official-jewfish-now-goliath-grouper/#.WdeuHVtSzX4

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  2. Thanks Jackie and if you’re inclined call me at home anytime for a brief talk.

    Karl Wickstrom, Founder Florida Sportsman 2700 S. Kanner Hwy. Stuart, FL 34994 772-219-7400 ext. 118 hanks

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  3. I saw a jewfish that looked to be 10 foot long at sebastion inlet about a month ago. I have talked with many who dive and fish and do believe they need to be thined out to keep a healthy balance on the reefs. Right now I am spraying calcium cloride salt on orange trees to see if it will kill citrus canker. All our orange trees used to be along the lagoon and maby when the environment changed it allowed invasive plants to thrive. We now have miles of dead brazilian pepper trees.

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  4. I talked to a commisioner John Tobia yesterday. I was too focused on exsplaining that restoring the lagoon was a simple fix. He said several times that he did not vote for it but they now have a half cent sales tax to CLEAN UP the lagoon. This whole thing wreeks of fraud. From the not stopping the fish kill with calcium sand(like I have done many times) To the muddying up the water with hundreds of people who dont have a clue submitting their Idea on what needs to be done so the money can disappear. If I see him again I will tell him maby he should do something that is rarely done in government—-JUST TELL THE TRUTH. It is not going to take 300 miliion —-not even 300 thousand. I hope he reads this. I think fishermen need to vote on what to do with jewfish. It may be posable to move them to areas so they can wipe out lionfish. but it is not right for them to hang all over sebastion inlet and let them wipe out snook and red fish..

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    Linda McLendon
    Linda McLendon My step-dad caught a 350 lb-er from the “10 cent bridge” with a limb from a tree and eel skin – he sold it and I’m pretty sure they turned it into “scallops” – he had to walk it to the east shore and some guys in a pickup truck helped him haul it into the truck and to the fish market !
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 4 · Yesterday at 11:43am · Edited
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    Jim Garrity
    Jim Garrity Open a limited season, rod and fell only. Slot limit the size you can keep. In addition there may need to be a Lottery to allow harvest of SOME larger ones. All this is needed to protect other fish.
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    Richard Trotta
    Richard Trotta No one should eat a Goliath. Their mercury content is far to high for even occasional consumption.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · Yesterday at 3:21pm
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    Jim Garrity
    Jim Garrity Richard Trotta why is it so high?
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    Richard Trotta
    Richard Trotta Jim Garrity , believe it or not big sugar and the release of methyl mercury into the environment is involved here. Long lived fish, like the Goliath grouper tend to have higher concentrations.
    http://www.planetexperts.com/mercury-contamination…/

    Mercury Contamination in Atlantic Goliath Grouper – Part 1: Are High…
    PLANETEXPERTS.COM
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    Jim Garrity
    Jim Garrity Richard Trotta actually I would believe that.
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner In the Everglades it is believed that the mercury ends up in the muck soil after being taken from the atmosphere in storm cloud formations and then deposited on the ground and standing water by rains over the Everglades. Mercury itself gets bound to mu…See More
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    Richard Trotta
    Richard Trotta Blake Faulkner , have you checked this out:
    http://cortada.com/clima2016/gallery/Everglades

    CLIMA 2016 | Florida Coastal Everglades LTER
    CLIMA Home | Main 2016 | Gallery | Statement |…
    CORTADA.COM
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner I guess Dr. Stephen Davis @ the Everglades Foundation has studied the mercury situation in the Everglades and made the problems pretty understandable in a comprehensive yet simple way. Good for him…….http://riverscoalition.org/…/Mercury-and-Methylmercury…
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner This was just being recognized as a problem in 1989……..http://www.nytimes.com/…/mercury-in-everglades-fish…

    Mercury in Everglades Fish Worries Experts
    LEAD: Game fish in the Everglades are…
    NYTIMES.COM
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    Dave Preston
    Dave Preston Blake Faulkner the mercury issue is so much bigger than anyone realizes. Mercury in the Everglades is 4-8x pre-industrial levels. Most other parts of our country are 2-3x. Guess where it comes from?
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner The mercury? Well it exists as a liquid and as a gas. And in various salt compounds (like Mercuric Chloride) I guess. I’ve worked with it (Mercuric Chloride) myself, oddly, as a nutrient chemist in a primitive wet lab when I was first hired as a Resear…See More
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    Dave Preston
    Dave Preston Blake Faulkner check into methyl-mercury. http://www.everglades.org/florida_s_secret_mercury

    Florida’s Secret Mercury Factory (by Alan Farago)
    Remember how Big Sugar said the problem in…
    EVERGLADES.ORG
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/0166-96/report.pdf
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    Dave Preston
    Dave Preston Blake Faulkner it’s not natural accumulation. And that will be proven.
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner Well, the real problem is the sulfur pollution that makes mercury into methyl mercury via sulfur reducing bacteria. Or anything that uncouples mercury from its muck soil-bound form to a water-soluble form like methyl mercury…which then enters the aquatic food web and bioconcentrates up the food web. I didn’t know until tonight that it had actually contributed to the deaths of 3 panthers and lots of wood storks.
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner I knew the Spanish used liquid mercury shipped over from Spain to extract gold from the gold ore mines in the New World but I didn’t know mercury was still being put into the atmosphere these days by that same old method used by the Spanish hundreds of…See More

    Find Out Why Using Mercury in Gold Mining Is a Problem
    THEBALANCE.COM
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    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
    Write a reply…

    Paul N Gray
    Paul N Gray predator control policies to protect prey are ecologically misguided and have turned entire ecosystems upside down
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    Ronnie Kirchman II
    Ronnie Kirchman II They need to open the season on them. It is amazing totally amazing the destruction that they do on a reef to the other fish, or lack of the fish. Some type of tag system lottery etc. needs to happen and all the harvest them by rod and reel. Similar to what is going on right now with sailfish. They are actually destroying the ecosystem system
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    Terry Gibson
    Terry Gibson Ronnie, they actually help the reef, most importantly by sweeping areas clean so corals etc. can take hold, and by excavating under the reef, to add to the complexity of the habitat. I’m a local angler that worked on these fish with scientists for sev…See More

    AlertDiver.com | High on Mercury
    ALERTDIVER.COM
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    Terry Gibson
    Terry Gibson Go to page 22: http://docplayer.net/22030483-Goliath-grouper-facts-about

    Goliath Grouper Facts about the reef s most misunderstood Giant – PDF
    Your Guide to Diving Adventure Goliath Grouper…
    DOCPLAYER.NET
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    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
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    Lawrence Ross
    Lawrence Ross is nothing sacred!
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    Paul Kuiper
    Paul Kuiper I’m for the limited catch by Rod and Reel, the larger ones decimate the Lobsters, Crabs etc, you don’t get this large by eating plankton.
    Image may contain: one or more people, outdoor and nature
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    Paul Kuiper
    Paul Kuiper 500+ Lbs, 2 hour fight on 20lb test “Firewire” and drug the boat almost 3 miles!
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    Jim Garrity
    Jim Garrity The key is limited harvest and monitoring of stock to a healthy balance
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner Learn what the marine biologists say about what Goliath grouper eat. They are low energy, low metabolism fish, unlike pelagics such as tuna and kingfish, etc.. They eat crabs, like stone crabs in SW Florida mangrove areas where they spend their early y…See More
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    Jim Garrity
    Jim Garrity All that is fine. They still can be opened to limited harvest. All about balance
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    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key Limited harvest rod and reel only. They are reaching overpopulation on our reefs.
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    Thomas Trotta
    Thomas Trotta There you have it, Jacqui. Amazingly “experts” in overpopulation are quite common in the community. Of course, the definition of overpopulation is too many are not in my interest.
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key OOOooo sarcasm. Thomas you are so witty.
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner Thomas recognizes the same argument made by the ‘balance’ spouters about ‘harvesting’ some native umbrella species on land like the Florida panther.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 2 · Yesterday at 1:54pm
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner But the Goliath grouper doesn’t compete for prey with fishermen like the panther does with south Florida hunters for ‘their’ deer and hogs. It’s only when someone fishing or spear-diving has a grouper or snapper in distress on their line or spear that …See More
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key B.S. if you think spouting lies is going to work you are wrong. I have personally seen them wipe out reef populations in Jupiter and Stuart on reefs that used to be great. I’ve seen them eat snapper, other grouper, sheepshead, lobsters, and everything …See More
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner I’m not spouting lies. I’m repeating what marine biologists who study Goliath grouper say. Even FWC says they don’t eat snappers and groupers.
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner http://myfwc.com/…/saltwater/grouper/goliath-grouper/

    Goliath Grouper
    Goliath are found nearshore often around docks, in deep holes, and on ledges. Young often…
    MYFWC.COM
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key My own eyes must be lying to me. I have seen it. If you deny it either you are lying or you have not spent much time under water.
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key The FWC and NOAA will also tell you that the Atlantic population of red snapper is unharvestable but I can attest that they are more populated than I have seen in my life in our waters from 100 to 280 feet
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner Do you care more about empirical evidence or anecdotal evidence? I know which one I’m going with. But I’m sure some of what you say you’ve seen is true. I’m sure they will take any fish they don’t have to chase down. I’m sure they can suck a lobster ou…See More
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner Matthew…I showed you what FWC said about Goliath Grouper. If you can show me what you said FWC says about the Atlantic population of red snapper being unharvestable, I’d appreciate it. I have no problem whatsoever with people taking red snapper if the stocks are healthy. I have no reason to mistrust FWC about that but I do mistrust them on other issues having to do with ‘harvests’ of wildlife. Fair enough?
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key Sure its fair. Look up regulations for the Atlantic harvest of Red Snapper in Florida. Last month they finally approved a very limited season for our coast. which we have not yet had. Something in the order of 10 days of open season (weekends for a few weeks in a row) Up until that time there was a complete shutdown of the fishery that spanned several years.
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key https://www.usatoday.com/…/ed-killer-snapper…/100184070/

    Ed Killer: Snapper silliness still has anglers seeing red
    USATODAY.COM
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner Thanks Matthew…There’s always been a conflict between commercial fishing interests and recreational fishing interests in Florida and this seems like a case where the regulation of the commercial fishing industry by the National Marine Fisheries Servi…See More
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key My contention is that the FWC science is flawed in the same way that many of these studies are flawed. Just because a marine biologist tells them to print something that doesn’t always make it correct. NOAA who is the primary now on these studies knows absolutely nothing about fish behavior, population, or density. What they do know is a strong lobby and full pockets of dirty money.
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner Who is that strong lobby with the full pockets? You mean the commercial fishing industry? I don’t get the angle, so to speak…
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key Commercial, in some cases(snapper for sure). Tourism and the eco crowd in others. Most of the people wanting to protect the Goliath grouper are sightseeing dive tours and eco warriors like the PETA crowd. It is a discussion that has been going on forever. Fisheries management should never be controlled by a corruptable group the likes of NOAA. IMO it is more their call than FWC.
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner I haven’t followed the red snapper issue at all. I have a 4 year (B.S.) Biology degree so I tend to see things from a biologist’s perspective more than most fishing folks would I guess but I do identify with all recreational fishermen and scuba-divers …See More

    Red Snapper Days Are Here Again – Florida Sportsman
    Though brief, a season should open in October.…
    FLORIDASPORTSMAN.COM
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key Not a problem Blake. I always appreciate a good debate whether I end up in agreement or not there is always something to learn from other people. I kind of miss my old snook fishing days. The offshore bug bit me a long time ago so I rarely fish the river anymore. Besides the water is so disgusting I wouldn’t eat anything I caught.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · Yesterday at 6:25pm
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    Richard Trotta
    Richard Trotta Matthew Key , what makes your observations scientific?
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · Yesterday at 7:11pm
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key Did I say my observations were scientific? I’m pretty sure I said they were actual experiences.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 23 hrs
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    Richard Trotta
    Richard Trotta Matthew Key , however you suggested an outcome from a “sense or feeling” without a thorough understanding of its meaning. If one were tour Yellowstone National Park exclusively they would conclude that American Bison are common throughout the west.
    Yo…See More
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key No Richard, I suggested a practical idea based on an actual observation. One that has been backed up by several other people with similar views. I am a native of Stuart Florida. I have seen the population swing. I don’t really care what “scientists” …See More
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key You act like suggested open season on the species and called for it to be wiped out. I suggested a limited harvest with several restrictions. It has worked for snook and several other species. Itt will work for Jewfish.
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    Richard Trotta
    Richard Trotta Matthew Key , your observations are biased by the sample size, an understanding of the breeding habits and historical population census. I’ll take take science over perceptions, feelings and thoughts. Data means something. I am unfamiliar with any science of gravity that disputes the consensus view of the discharge issues. If you have some let me know.
    Peer reviewed science holds a lot more weight than a W.A.G. .
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key Go with what you want buddy. If it comes down to any type of vote I know which way I will choose. Like I said I have no problem with you having a different opinion.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 11 hrs
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    Richard Trotta
    Richard Trotta Matthew Key , I asked about the science that was wrong in your life time. And the science on the discharges. Are those inventions to prove a point? Your opinion shouldn’t have any weight of species in peril.
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    Blake Faulkner
    Blake Faulkner Richard, you know that advice you gave me about Newton Earl Cook…Well, that applies here too. Just trying to help.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key I’ve lived 45 years dude. I don’t have the time nor desire to write that book. You really believe that just because a person is a scientist that automatically makes them right? That must be an interesting way to see things. Anyways, I have spoken my point. You will not change my view.
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    Richard Trotta
    Richard Trotta Blake Faulkner , and as usual you’re right.
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    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
    Write a reply…

    Mary E. Dawson
    Mary E. Dawson When I was a kid, a fisherman brought one to the dock that was so big I could sit in its mouth. Scared me to death. It could have swallowed me whole.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 2 · Yesterday at 1:36pm
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    George Brock Scott
    George Brock Scott This is one my friend Rick Rogers needs to see!
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 2 · Yesterday at 2:27pm
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    Alek Loudakis
    Alek Loudakis They eat everything, and are actually a major threat to other reef species… They need to be thinned out conservatively
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 4 · Yesterday at 2:56pm
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key ^another guy that I can attest actually knows what he is talking about.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 4:19pm
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    Paul Kuiper
    Paul Kuiper I agree, they eat everything, I spent many years in Marine Patrol aside from diving and fishing, I’ve known many Captains and other fisherman who have stated that they eat anything that they can get. I’ll try and find a video I saw recently showing thi…See More
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 4:30pm
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    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
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    David Borrack
    David Borrack I’m all for rod and reel with limits and quotas. Life time diver and have witnessed before and after restrictions. I believe they are destructive in masses.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 3 · Yesterday at 4:23pm
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    Darrin Smith
    Darrin Smith Lottery rod and reel only season.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 2 · Yesterday at 5:07pm
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    Gary Tefft
    Gary Tefft · 4 mutual friends
    The big ones are not very good eating and were never worth much in the fishmarket
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 2 · Yesterday at 6:10pm
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    Matthew Key
    Matthew Key Definately a slot limit type fish.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 6:28pm
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    Gary Tefft
    Gary Tefft · Friends with Ruthann Hewson and 3 others
    A problem being that the big ones are the aggressors that can eat everything. As you know in the water you are either the hunter or the hunted. There is always a bigger fish. By the way there is a video of one eating a 4-5 ft shark
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · Yesterday at 6:33pm
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    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch

    Write a reply…

    Charles Pierce
    Charles Pierce My first and only one I ever took almost killed me, end up with a bleeding ear and cuts and bruises on my chest and arms. Was skin diving in the Keys.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · Yesterday at 6:30pm
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    Kimberly Mitchell
    Kimberly Mitchell No. Just no.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 9:16pm
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    Richard Trotta
    Richard Trotta Charles Pierce, so you invent another story. There hasn’t been a grouper species big enough to eat you since dawn of man. You know what we call people that make things up…?
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    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch Thank you for such an extensive discussion. I have learned a lot.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · Just now

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  6. Facebook comments cont.3 Billie Periman, Mike Glynn and Bill Shaw
    Comments
    Rebecca Fatzinger
    Rebecca Fatzinger aww….beautiful creatures
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · Yesterday at 11:37am
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    Derrick Christenson
    Derrick Christenson They are now out of control on all the reefs. Most divers and fishermen will tell you they have eaten everything on most reefs including lobsters. They need to be thinned.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · Yesterday at 11:42am
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    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch Thanks for comments on this post. Karl Wickstrom called me today, this may just be the beginning of the discussion. All good things to the fishermen and women and to the fish.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · Yesterday at 5:43pm
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    Thomas Trotta
    Thomas Trotta Maybe a new discussion http://www.tcpalm.com/…/commerce-extended…/741669001/

    Commerce extended red snapper season knowing it would lead to overfishing,…
    TCPALM.COM
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    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch Thank you for the comments. Very insightful to me.
    LikeShow more reactions · Reply · Just now

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  7. Last Facebook comment (there were 3 posts)1 Julia Perry
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    Jim Garrity
    Jim Garrity There needs to be a limited open season and slot size to control the population. It is borderline invasive now on all reefs and wreaks killing other fish young.

    Like

  8. I think it would be good if sea world had a few 1000 punders so they could observe in exactly what ways jewfish affect the environment. It may be they are capable of controling the shark populations. Growing up I never saw a osprey and now Brevard county has at least 10,000—maby more of these dirty birds that kill for the fun of killing. They also cripple many gamefish by grabbing with their leathel claws fish that are way to big to carry. They are not endangered in fact they are found on every continint on earth. The one way (law abiding) around this problem is to bring back the environment the way it was so their will be more mullet and mehadden than the osprey can eat. This might work in the jewfishs favor too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Do NOT get me wrong. Introducing a top preditor without first bringing up the bottom of the food chain should be considered a crime .It has taken food from the tables of millions of people. To kill is just the way this world is and I am sure God knows this and has provided for us. To destroy the environment and kill everything is like the Indian Chief said—-Do we not realize we are doing this to ourself

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Years back my mom would take her little sign and protest in front of the abortion clinics. Here in Fellsmere we have a frog legs festival and every year. animal rights people would protest the killing of frogs. My mom would go over and ask them what they thought of killing baby humans. My mom said after a while they would go around telling everyone not to talk the her(my mom) . I believe the reality is that many that say they are animal lovers are really people haters..

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