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View Full Version : How stupid is it to get near goliath groupers?


Betta132
01/18/2015, 10:37 PM
Yes, I know goliath groupers are rare, but if opportunity presents itself I'd love to see them up close. I do have one concern, though. Namely, the "if it fits in my mouth, it's food" all gulper fish have. By gulpers, I mean stuff with very large mouths- lionfish, groupers, etc. I'm 5' 2", and I've seen pictures of goliaths that look like they could at least half-eat a man. Given that, I'm pretty sure I'd fit at least halfway into the mouth of a particularly large goliath.
If I happened to run into a big one, is there a fairly notable concern that it might try to eat me? I doubt one could manage to swallow me, given that they don't have teeth or any way to stop me from flailing like crazy, but I'd still rather not have one decide to try.

liverock
01/19/2015, 07:55 AM
Yes, I know goliath groupers are rare, but if opportunity presents itself I'd love to see them up close. I do have one concern, though. Namely, the "if it fits in my mouth, it's food" all gulper fish have. By gulpers, I mean stuff with very large mouths- lionfish, groupers, etc. I'm 5' 2", and I've seen pictures of goliaths that look like they could at least half-eat a man. Given that, I'm pretty sure I'd fit at least halfway into the mouth of a particularly large goliath.
If I happened to run into a big one, is there a fairly notable concern that it might try to eat me? I doubt one could manage to swallow me, given that they don't have teeth or any way to stop me from flailing like crazy, but I'd still rather not have one decide to try.

Gentle giants....I dive with them all the time on the aquaculture site.....have had as many as 5 at once.....the largest I ever saw was almost 10 feet long...when I swam up beside him and stretched out...with my fins on it was longer than I was.

Most jewfish will allow you to swim right up to them and pet them like a dog....at least the ones that hang on my site do....not afraid of anything....although I do get 'barked' at occasionally when I startle one...

Richard TBS
www.tbsaltwater.com :spin3::spin3::spin3:

Betta132
01/19/2015, 10:06 AM
Good, then it's not very likely that I'll have to figure out how to remove myself from one's mouth.
I am definitely going to go and do that at some point, with the largest ones I can find. Personally, I find them more impressive than most small shark species. For one, there's a lot more fish per fish. For another, at least with a shark, prey might be able to dodge. With one of these, it's like trying to dodge a suddenly-opening black hole. They can't quite beat something like a full-size tiger shark for sheer impressiveness, but they're still really awesome.

liverock
01/19/2015, 10:17 AM
Good, then it's not very likely that I'll have to figure out how to remove myself from one's mouth.
I am definitely going to go and do that at some point, with the largest ones I can find. Personally, I find them more impressive than most small shark species. For one, there's a lot more fish per fish. For another, at least with a shark, prey might be able to dodge. With one of these, it's like trying to dodge a suddenly-opening black hole. They can't quite beat something like a full-size tiger shark, but they're still awesome.

When you approach one the first move usually is them raising the dorsal fin.....that is first warning that you are close....if they are not happy they will bark at you...

snorvich
01/19/2015, 11:56 AM
Being eaten by one is a total non-issue.

Fogvalley
01/19/2015, 01:04 PM
There was a Facebook video of one gulping a shark some fisherman got up to boat and see ya shark. But it mighta been fake. But if not I'd be nervous a bit

Betta132
01/19/2015, 02:15 PM
I saw that video. I don't think it was fake... hungry grouper + skinny tired shark = no more shark. It was a little shark, though.

hogfanreefer
01/22/2015, 02:59 PM
Nothing like a goliath but this nassau grouper(about 3') followed us around like a puppy for about 40 minutes one day.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f164/huntindoc/Cozumel%202014/nassuagrouper1of1_zpsd33827a5.jpg

Slummies
01/29/2015, 09:43 AM
http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/nature/post/goliath-grouper-attacks-diver-steals-fish/

:)

caribfan
01/31/2015, 10:30 AM
The guy laughing in the background is priceless.

scoupland
02/01/2015, 09:09 PM
I have dived with them quite often. They are impressive creatures, especially if when you see them in groups. They have never bothered me. As others noted, they sometimes bark if you get close to them. It is a very deep, powerful sound. If you are close enough, you can even feel it. When I have been around them, they usually swim away as I approach them.

rjallen
02/01/2015, 09:52 PM
There is a small risk. I observed 5 divers excitedly swim up and surround a large grouper. A stupid inconsiderate move. The big guy panicked and bolted at high speed. Two divers were struck masks and regulators knocked out. The group belonged to another instructor sharing to boat charter with me. Nobody was seriously injured. One diver had an abrasion/ bruise on her face. Two divers panicked but we got them all back on board. The lady did not make her last two dives.
Always give any wild animal an out.

I remember, 25 years ago, you could see very large Goliath groupers. Just East of the passenger dock in Georgetown Grand Cayman was a small dive shop on the shore. There was a decent shore dive just 30 yards out. Mostly patch reefs and small gullys. The big guys hung out because of constant feeding by divers. If approached in the right way you could pet them. Anyone know if they are still there?
RJ

bimini_bread
02/02/2015, 07:40 AM
I've been in off S. Florida with many. They almost always left me alone. Unless I was spearing!