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Updated on November 25, 2014

Groupers of the USA Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

This page introduces a family of saltwater fish known collectively as grouper. Several species of grouper live along the USA Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The term grouper includes a wide range of species.

Among them are snowy, nassau, black, red, gag, yellowtail grouper and others.

Nassau Grouper

The Nassau Grouper is tan with five dark brown vertical bars and a large black saddle blotch along its sides. Their coloration can change in response to their environment.

Nassau grouper occur in the South Atlantic, throughout the Bahamas, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Nassau grouper are most common in the Florida Keys and Caribbean waters.

Broiled Grouper Parmesan

Broiled Grouper Parmesan

2 pounds grouper fillets

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

3 green onions, chopped

thinly sliced lemon and parsley for garnish, optional

Place fillets in a single layer on a greased baking dish or broiler

pan; brush with lemon juice.

Combine Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, salt, butter, and green onions in

a small bowl; set aside.

Broil flounder fillets 4 to 6 minutes, or until fish flakes easily

with a fork. Remove from oven; spread with cheese


Broil about 30 seconds longer, or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

Garnish with sliced lemon and parsley if desired.

Serves 6 to 8.

counterfeit grouper
counterfeit grouper

Counterfeit Grouper!

You order an expensive meal of fresh grouper at your local restaurant or choose a gorgeous salmon from the market. Did you get what you ordered or a something else?

Americans have been shocked recently to learn that in many cases, meals at even top quality restaurants may contain counterfeit seafood.

David Price, a Ph.D. researcher from Florida State University, reported to the Georgia Senate Government Oversight Committee in November of 2007 on mislabeled fish. The expert found that DNA-tested grouper he purchased from Georgia restaurants turned out to be other species of fish over 50% of the time.


seafood substitution.

New Grouper Rules Proposed for the Federal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has voted to send Reef Fish Amendment 30B, which deals with gag and red grouper, to the Secretary of Commerce for approval and implementation. The Amendment addresses the overfishing status of gag and the recovered status of red grouper in the Gulf of Mexico, and is expected to become effective in late 2009 or early 2010.

In the meantime, the Council requested that NOAA Fisheries implement an interim rule to implement those portions of Amendment 30B that pertain to ending overfishing of gag, red snapper, greater amberjack and gray triggerfish as quickly as possible. The interim rule, which can only be used to address those provisions that deal specifically with overfishing, is expected to become effective by January 1, 2009, and will put in place temporary regulations until Amendment 30B can be fully implemented.

The interim rule will:

* Set the recreational gag bag and possession limit tot 2 per person, per day. The aggregate bag limit will remain at five.

* Extend the recreational closed season for gag from February 1 through March 31. The closed season for black and red grouper will remain February 15 to March 15.

* Charter boat and headboat operators who possess a Gulf reef fish permit must comply with Federal regulations those reef fish species experiencing overfishing (gag, red snapper, greateramberjack, and gray triggerfish) regardless of where the fish are harvested, if those regulations are more restrictive than state regulations.

The interim rule will eventually be replaced by Amendment 30B, which establishes a recreational grouper aggregate of 4 fish with a 2 gag and 2 red grouper bag and possession limit. It also includes a recreational closed season for all shallow-water grouper from February 1, through March 31. Additionally, charter and headboat operators who possess a Gulf reef fish permit must comply with Federal regulations when more restrictive than state regulations, for those reef fish species experiencing overfishing (gag, red snapper, greater amberjack, and gray triggerfish), regardless of where the fish are harvested.

On the commercial side, Amendment 30B reduces the minimum size limit for commercial red grouper to 18” and repeals the commercial February 15 to March 15 closed season on gag, black grouper and red grouper. Instead, a January through April seasonal area closure is established at the Edges 40 fathom contour, a 390 nautical square mile gag spawning region northwest of Steamboat Lumps for both the commercial and recreational sectors.

Amendment 30B also sets total allowable catch (TAC) for both gag and red grouper. The gag TAC will be set at variable levels – 3.38 mp in 2009, 3.62 mp in 2010, and 3.82 mp in 2011, with the red grouper TAC set at 7.57 mp. Interim allocation of TAC between the recreational and commercial fisheries will be set at 61% recreational and 39% commercial for gag, and 24% recreational, 76% commercial for red grouper.

Finally, the amendment sets annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) for recreational and commercial gag and red grouper, and for the commercial shallow-water grouper aggregate. For the commercial sector this means the shallow-water grouper fishery will close when gag, red grouper, or the sallow-water grouper (SWG) quota is met. For the recreational sector, if at the end of the fishing year it is determined that the gag or red grouper annual catch limit (ACL) has been exceeded, then any scheduled increase in the recreational allocation will be canceled. In addition, the recreational fishing season for SWG in the following year will be reduced by the amount necessary to ensure that red grouper or gag target levels are not exceeded for that year.

The regulations are necessary because the latest stock assessment completed under the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) program, indicates that gag are undergoing overfishing. The Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act of 2006 mandates that once a stock is determined to be experiencing overfishing, the Council must take action to end overfishing immediately.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson‑Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council prepares fishery management plans designed to manage fishery resources in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

snowy grouper picture
snowy grouper picture

Snowy Grouper

Snowy groupers inhabit deeper waters than most other groupers.

These fish are sometimes caught by longliners pursuing tilefish.

Snowy grouper fillets are prized as a delicacy.

Scamp Grouper

Scamp Grouper are found from North Carolina to Key West, and in the Gulf of Mexico including the southern portion of the Caribbean Sea. This species of grouper may live up to 30 years, reaching a length of 42 inches and weighing around 30 pounds. The scamp is the smallest of the shallow water groupers.

Marbled Grouper

Marbled Grouper usually weigh from 5-25 lbs. In spite of its somewhat different appearance than other groupers, this is an excellent table fish, comparable with other groupers of its size.

Grouper Feedback

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    • bowfishing lm profile image

      bowfishing lm 7 years ago

      The grouper really look like that in real life but down deeper like 200' or so they get a lot bigger. I believe over 300lbs they are called a Jew fish

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Wow, this is like a photo gallery here, cool!