Time to reopen goliath?

Isn’t it time you invited that Goliath guy home for dinner, with him or her as the main attraction on your menu?

What a welcome that would be, in our view.

It’s been some three decades since the Goliath grouper was put in the total no-keep department.

Once, this largest of about 21 groupers that can run close to a ton had been overfished for years, frequently speared and sold. So the bag limit eventually became zero.

Now, after all those years of total protection, the Goliath has made an astounding comeback. Too astounding perhaps.

We hear continually of Goliaths slurping up all manner of other fish around bridges, wrecks and hard bottom both shallow and deep.

We commend the state for currently taking a close look at the Goliath situation, as well as reviewing the status of other popular species such as spotted seatrout which still lingers along with a vestigial commercial season. See the Conservation Front for dates of public hearings on tap. Reader input is welcome online and directly to FS.

Let’s hear from you.

On the Goliath scene we do favor a careful approach, as we have with the one-fish bags for redfish and snook. No spearing, and certainly no commercialization. A slot size also is a proven conservation method.

Whatever the decisions, we must utilize the best science possible in order to foster abundant fish populations and provide maximum benefits across the waters equally for all.

First Published Florida Sportsman Magazine October 2017

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