The Safina Center

Koho salmon.Koho salmon.Photo taken by: Carl Safina

Some problems exist with this species' status or catch methods, or information is insufficient for evaluating. Grouper, Black – U.S. These fish contain levels of mercury or PCBs that may pose a health risk to adults and children.

In the U.S., Black Grouper are found from Massachusetts to Texas but the majority of Black Grouper are caught in South Florida. They are found in shallower waters than other grouper species. Black Grouper only accounts for about 1% of the U.S. grouper catch.

Black Grouper can grow to 220 lbs. and change sex from female to male after 15 years. The U.S. Black Grouper population is at a healthy abundance level, and fishing levels on this species are sustainable.

Black grouper are caught using handlines and bottom longlines. The fisheries that catch Black Grouper target a range of groupers, snappers, and other fish, and result in bycatch of some depleted species. The longline fisheries also accidentally catch some sea turtles and sharks. Fishing occurs over some sensitive habitats, like rocky reefs. While handline fishing causes minimal habitat damage, fishing with bottom longlines may result in moderate damage to these habitats.

Full species report here.

This fish may have high levels of mercury that could pose a health risk to adults and children.  More info here about mercury in grouper. Check out our mercury in seafood section.