Barreiros, J.P. & Coleman, F.C. (2023) West African Goliath Grouper: where are they between Senegal and Angola?Fishes, 8, 318. DOI:10.20944/preprints202304.1121.v1 (IF2022 2,3; Q2 Fisheries)
The Atlantic Goliath Grouper Epinephelus itajara (Lichtenstein, 1822) occurs on both sides of the Atlantic, from the Carolinas (USA) to Brazil in the western Atlantic and historically from North Senegal to North Angola off ofWest Africa in the eastern Atlantic. While there are relatively good data on their distribution in the western Atlantic, confirmed occurrences, population status, fishing reports, and trade data are almost non-existent forWest Africa. Part of the problem is that tropical West African countries largely lack the wherewithal to fund the research needed to evaluate this species, nor do they have laws, management plans, or viable enforcement measures that might lead to effective population recovery or protection for essential juvenile mangrove habitats. Given the lack of published studies on this species in West Africa, the primary objectives of this paper are (1) to describe all known historical and current anecdotal information available on this species and (2) to encourage the increased monitoring of habitats where viable populations might still occur (i.e., mangroves, oil rigs, and oil platforms).