Florida could lift 30-year ban on catching goliath grouper

Florida

In this undated photo provided by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is a goliath grouper. Florida is lifting its three-decade ban on catching and killing goliath groupers after wildlife officials argued their numbers have rebounded. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, a proposal to allow recreational harvest of 200 goliaths per year from March to May. (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission via AP)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida is proposing to lift its three-decade ban on catching and killing goliath groupers after wildlife officials argued their numbers have rebounded.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved a draft proposal on Wednesday to allow the recreational harvest of 200 goliaths per year.

Agency spokeswoman Amanda Nalley says the proposal remains tentative until a second vote in March 2022, and probably would not effect until 2023. Meanwhile, the agency continues to gather public comments.

The goliath almost died off in the 1980s from overfishing and pollution and can’t be caught in any other state or federal waters.

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