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To Fish or Not: The Tough Goliath Grouper Question Florida Faces Regarding the subject t of Florida politics, there’s so much to write home about, including issues such as Trump’s visit to Tampa as well as the controversial sanctuary city matter. Yet, what may grab more of your attention is the latest news concerning the goliath grouper, if you’re a fisherman and focused on the fish species. Several fishermen have been heard saying that the fish has soared in numbers lately, and they hope that the appropriate Florida authorities will yet gain permit harvesting of the fish. Having being considered an endangered species due to excessive harvesting the goliath grouper has not been open to legal fishing since 1990. But today, there’s hope that Florida will review the restrictions. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will convene on February 8-10 with a view to discussing the future of the goliath grouper as far as harvesting is concerned.
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But no proposal has been submitted as yet to permit harvesting of the fish. In one of the sessions, staff from the FWC will give the commission a report about the biology of the goliath grouper, including the latest findings on the population of the fish.
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According to the FWC spokeswoman, the commission will be discussing whether or not public input should be sought about the possible management changes, which include the possibility of permitting some form of restricted harvesting. Biologists and conservationists are asking for more time to study the goliath’s lifecycle. The experts are looking into how big the fish can grow, their lifespan, how many are caught and freed, and the negative impact on the fish that commercial harvesting has caused in the past. Commercial divers spent decades over-hunting the goliath grouper and almost causing its extinction by 1990, but fishermen say that this superior predator is back and breathing fire, dominating the reefs and eating other fish, lobsters, and pretty much anything that fits in its gigantic mouth. A fishing guide at the Vero Beach is quoted as suggesting that the fish have grown into a nuisance, and as such, some form of harvesting on them should be allowed. And today, many divers and fishermen are protesting that they’ve had it with the fish. In some areas, the recommendation to the state is that harvesting 10 to 50-pound goliaths should be allowed, letting the bigger, reproducing ones alone. In essence, no one is presently seeking open season in which a zillion goliaths could be caught. Whether or not harvesting the goliath grouper will once again be source of livelihood to fishermen within Florida depends on what the FWC will decide. Based on your standpoint, the final decision may be one of the most welcome Florida political news.