You may wonder why you are seeing a blog post about a giant reef fish and what it has to do with dolphins. Quite simply, the answer is “conservation”! With all of our oceans in trouble, and the extinction of animal species hardly making news anymore, it becomes important for each one of us to help, or consider why we have not helped. Whether it’s a common bottlenose dolphin or an endangered Goliath Grouper, we all have an obligation to tread lightly on our blue planet’s other inhabitants and treat them with care. It’s not all about us.
30 years ago, Goliath Grouper were nearly extinct because of human’s over exploitation of the species. Sound familiar? It ought to. It’s the same tune humans have been playing for the opening act of the sixth mass extinction for decades, for a millennia! The good news is that some Goliath Grouper populations have made a tenuous and tumultuous journey towards recovery. Good fishery management decisions, a fishing moratorium, and an artificial reef program have allowed some of these giants to thrive again for now. They still face an uphill battle against a tide of toxins flowing off of Florida’s coast into the sea, environmental upheaval such as cold snaps and red tides, or what the sponge fishermen called “The Blight”, loss of suitable habitat for juvenile recruitment and heavy metals such as mercury present in the eggs and flesh of each animal.
If you are asking yourself if these animals live is a squalorous, toxic coastal environment, the answer is a definite, sometimes! A lot of variables affect the coastal conditions in South Florida, but humans are not doing any favors to this environment by allowing these issues to persist.
Let me introduce you to the Goliath Grouper, the largest reef fish in the Caribbean. Please enjoy this short form documentary “Goliaths in the Stream” and my hope is that you take away an appreciation for a species that you may not have known existed.
Also, I invite you to sign the below petition to keep the Goliath Grouper populations closed to fishing. The science behind this is mainstream and verifiable.
We all have a voice! This is your chance to speak out!
-John Anderson, Terramar Productions