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Epinephelus striatus Species ID:
A large, deep-bodied fish with rounded fins and prominent dorsal spines (1), often with yellow tips. The body is covered in wide bars (2) that appear green to brown on a pale background, and a large black saddlespot (3) appears at the base of the tail. These fish can pale, darken, or adopt specific body patterns at will. Sexes appear similar and juveniles resemble adults Maximum Size:
1.2 m (4 ft) Longevity:
Approximately 30 years Status:
Endangered according to the IUCN endangered species list Nassau Grouper & People:
Nassau grouper were once the most important food fish in the Caribbean, but severe overfishing and exploitation of vulnerable breeding aggregations has contributed to a population decline of roughly 60% in the past 30 years. Harvest and sale of Nassau grouper is now banned in several countries in an effort to help the population recover, but their numbers continue to decline in many areas
Occasional throughout the Caribbean, but rare in the Gulf of Mexico Coral Reef Zone:
Nassau grouper can be found in rocky areas of the back reef, fore reef, and drop-off zones Favourite Habitat:
Nassau grouper prefer areas with caves and crevices which they use for shelter Depth Range:
6–30 m (20–100 ft)
A Day in The Life
Dawn: Feeding activity increases when low light levels help grouper approach prey
Day: Grouper wander the reef and may feed
Dusk: Feeding increases; spawning occurs at this time during the breeding season
Night: Grouper rest among rocks; some feeding may occur
Who Eats Who?
Nassau grouper are eaten by only the largest reef predators such as sharks, barracuda, and larger groupers, including members of their own species! Nassau grouper themselves are one of the larger coral reef predators and consume most reef inhabitants that can fit into their mouth, especially fish, crabs and lobsters.
Scuba Diver & Snorkeler Best Practices
Don’t buy souvenirs made from marine organisms Never purchase souvenirs made from marine organisms, such as corals and turtles; it is environmentally damaging and often illegal.