Nassau Grouper, a Large Predatory Fish

Fish World | Nassau Grouper, a Large Predatory Fish | The Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) is one of many perciform fish in the Serranidae family are commonly known as groupers. It is the largest of the grouper for commercial fishing in the Caribbean, but was threatened by overfishing.
The Nassau grouper is a U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service species of special concern. Special concern are species for which the U.S. government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, has some concerns regarding status and threats, but for which information is insufficient to indicate the need to list the species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The Nassau grouper is a way for big fish, growing to more than one meter in length and up to 25 kg. It has a thick mouth and big body, which is used to "inhale" prey. Its color varies depending on the circumstances indivudual a fish and the environment. In shallow water (up to 60 feet), grouper is a tawny, but specimens that live in deep waters are pink or red, or orange-red color, sometimes. Superimposed on this base color are a number of light scratches, dark spots, bars and models with black spots under and behind the eye, and a band forked at the top of the head
The Nassau grouper lives in the sea, preferring to be close to the reef, it is one of the biggest fish that are found around coral reefs. It can be found anywhere from the shore near the water that are up to 100 m deep. The Nassau grouper lives in the Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda, Florida and the Bahamas in the north to the south of Brazil, but it is only found in some places in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly along the coast of Belize. It is a solitary fish, feeding in the day, mostly on other fish and small crustaceans like crabs and small lobsters. It engenders in December and January, again at the time of the full moon, and always in the same locations. In light of the full moon, a huge number of cluster together to mate in grouper spawning mass. One reason for the Nassau grouper fisheries are so depleted is that its huge spawning groups are easy targets for fishermen, who collect a large number of reproducing fish, then obviously that can not be repeated. Many other snapper grouper species are in trouble of becoming endangered or extinct for the same reason.
The Nassau grouper is caught commercially and for sport, it is less shy than other groupers, and is easily approached by divers. However, its numbers were greatly reduced by overfishing in recent years, and it is a slow breeder. Also its historical spawning areas are easily targeted for fishing, which tends to remove the reproductively active members of the group. The species is very vulnerable to overexploitation, and is recognized as endangered on the IUCN Red List. The governments of the United States, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas have banned fishing for the Nassau grouper, in recent years. In the Cayman Islands in the fishing hole spawning groupers was banned until the end of 2011, and in the case of fishing for grouper in the Bahamas in the month of December 2003 to February 2004 was also arrested. The Nassau grouper is down very high and is a serious risk of extinction.

An important spawning site for the species is at Glover Reef, off the coast of Belize. He was identified as one of only two remaining viable sites for the species, the original nine known locations. In 2002 this area was declared a special marine reserve, permanently closed to fishing.
There have been numerous conservation methods that have been set up to help the grouper. There are closed seasons when you are not authorized to fish for grouper. These seasons take place during the spawning season. There are regulations to allow 3 pounds of fish to harvest to give the younger fish a chance to reproduce. There are protected areas where your not allowed to fish and there is a complete ban on fishing for grouper in federal waters America. Also there are protections for spawning at all times in some places.

The Nassau grouper has been represented on stamps of Cuba (1965, 1975), Bahamas (1971 five percent), and Antigua and Barbuda (1987 40c).
Threats to the grouper are: Over-fishing fishing during the breeding season .- Loss of habitat pollution invasive species of grouper Catching undersized. There conservations to try and help protect against these threats grouper.

The Nassau grouper has been blacklisted by the International Union for conservation of endangered species in 1996 and it was determined to be endangered because its population has declined by 60% in the last 30 years. It is estimated that over one third of the spawning areas have disappeared and the grouper is considered commercially extinct in some areas.

The current population of Nassau grouper is estimated at more than 10,000 mature individuals, but the population is estimated to be still down. Grouper with their suitable habitat is declining. They need the coral reef habitat quality to survive. So because of overfishing and habitat loss expectations for the Nassau grouper is not optimistic.