FWC accepting comments on goliath grouper management
Goliath grouper have been the subject of much debate in recent years. Overfishing reduced their numbers substantially in the 1980s.
Since 1990, the harvest and possession of goliath grouper has been prohibited in state and federal waters off Florida.
But after reports of high abundance in Florida waters recent years, including many encounters by divers, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission is taking public comments on management options for these large grouper.
Goliaths, the largest of the western north Atlantic groupers, are thought to live as long as 40 years, possibly longer. They can reach 8 feet in length and weigh up to 800 pounds.
Management options for goliaths include the possibility of limited harvest that could be restricted by seasons and geographical areas as well as size and bag limits and possibly the sale of harvest tags.
FWC commissioners are not expected to discuss management options until September 2017, possibly later.
Meanwhile, the public can comment on management options for goliath grouper by going to www.myfwc.com/saltwatercomments.
To read a presentation on goliath grouper by the FWC staff, go to www.myfwc.com/commission. Select commission meetings, then click on the meeting of February 8-9, 2017.
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