Blue Ocean Institute

sea creature by Jason Larese

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

Snowy Grouper are found in deep-water rocky habitats, from North Carolina to Brazil including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. They are a long lived, slow growing species that changes sex (from females to males) as they grow, making them extremely vulnerable to fishing pressure.

In the US South Atlantic, the abundance of Snowy Grouper has been low and the population overfished since the late 1980s. So far management measures aimed at rebuilding the Snowy Grouper population have been unsuccessful. In the US Gulf of Mexico, Snowy Grouper has never been assessed so abundance is unknown.

Snowy Grouper are caught with hook and line gears and bottom longlines. Fishing with hook and line gears causes minimal habitat damage, while fishing with bottom longlines can cause moderate habitat damage. There is likely a medium amount of bycatch in the Snowy Grouper fisheries.

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.