Sarah Frias-Torres sfrias_torres at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 10 07:26:54 EST 2009

Dear Coral-Listers,Please, contact me directly if you have any questions regarding the issue explained below
Goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) is one of the last representatives of the marine megafauna that were once abundant in tropical and subtropical latitudes of the world's oceans. Critically endangered throughout its distribution range, goliath grouper (previously known as jewfish), have been protected in U.S federal and state waters since 1990 through a total fishing ban. After reaching commercial extinction, the species is now in a path towards recovery. Florida is one of the few places in the world, where we can still dive with these giants.
Powerful lobbies are pressuring politicians to relax the protected status of goliath grouper to re-open the fishery at some point. This is against scientists recommendations. In a meeting early December, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will decide on whether to facilitate the process for a fishery re-opening or continue with the complete fishing ban and full protection.
The SCUBA diving community, conservationists and scientists are now lobbying so politicians will listen to the voice of reason. Please, consult the petition below, and consider adding your signature (you can also add your own comments). We hope to reach at least 1,000 signatures (more will even be better).
 - http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/protect-goliath-groupers
Thank you for your time.You can find links to goliath grouper publications and a dedicated Endangered Species Research issue in my internet page. Also a short documentary film under "teaching"
Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. http://independent.academia.edu/SarahFriasTorres

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