Illustration of Grouper

Grouper

Filters

Seafood Variety

Harvest Method

Regions

Ocean Wise Recommended

Ocean Wise

Variety

Hawaiian grouper

Epinephelus quernus

Method

Wild

Handline

Location

Hawaii

Overall Rating

2.9 / 5

Summary

The Hawaiian Deep 7 complex is comprised of 7 bottomfish species: 6 snappers and 1 grouper. Catches peaked in the 1980’s at 439,000lbs but since 2000, have averaged only 234,000lbs/year. The pink snapper, ruby snapper, and red snapper make up the majority of the landings. Most of the species are consumed domestically within Hawaii. Additional snapper are imported from Indo-Pacific islands to meet Hawaiian demand.

The deep 7 are managed as one unit. The group is considered to be at healthy abundances and not overfished. However information on how commercial and recreational fishing impacts individual species is lacking. The Hawaiian grouper is near-threatened and vulnerable to fishing pressure. Regulations exist that control size limits, gear limits, quotas, and catch reporting. The fishery is closed if the catch limit is reached, and if it is exceeded, the quota for the next year is reduced. Population assessments are conducted every 2-3 years, although the deep 7 are studied as a group, and not separately.

Although the Hawaiian Deep 7 are caught by handline, which is a selective way of fishing and allows for any bycatch to be released, the greater amberjack and gray snapper which are species of moderate concern, are sometimes caught. The handlines each have 6-8 circle hooks, and do not come into contact with the seafloor. The Hawaiian snapper which is targeted, as well as gray snapper which is caught as bycatch, are both species of exceptional importance. This means that their role in the ecosystem is disproportionately large compared to their biomass. Due to the importance of these two species, ecosystem-based management measures have been implemented such as the fishing ban in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Gag grouper

Mycteroperca microlepis

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Handline

Location

S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico

Overall Rating

2.1 - 2.4 / 5

Summary

Commercial landings of grouper in the US is dominated by the Gulf of Mexico, with Gulf of Mexico red grouper landings accounting for more than 50% of combined landings for the seven species assessed. In the South Atlantic (US EEZ in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and east Florida to Key West), gag is the predominant species. Total combined landings have slowly reduced over the last 30 years, from 6000 in 1986, to under 4000 t in 2013. All landings stay in the US.

Black grouper, red grouper, yellowedge grouper, Warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, scamp and gag are all Not Recommended for both set longlines and vertical lines, due primarily to impacts on other species. Stock of black grouper, red grouper, yellowedge grouper (only in Gulf of Mexico), gag is not considered to be overfished, and it is unlikely overfishing is occurring. However, for Warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, yellowedge grouper (South Atlantic US), stocks are considered depleted and likely to be undergoing overfishing. Bycatch is a significant concern, with impacts on a variety of vulnerable and endangered species from both gear types. Management of the grouper fisheries is considered moderately effective, but the lack of formal stock assessment of several species. Vertical lines have no habitat impacts, while closed areas and gear restrictions reduce seafloor impacts for set longlines. Policies to protect groupers’ role in the ecosystem are in place.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Red grouper

Epinephelus morio

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Handline

Location

S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico

Overall Rating

1.8-2.3 / 5

Summary

Commercial landings of grouper in the US is dominated by the Gulf of Mexico, with Gulf of Mexico red grouper landings accounting for more than 50% of combined landings for the seven species assessed. In the South Atlantic (US EEZ in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and east Florida to Key West), gag is the predominant species. Total combined landings have slowly reduced over the last 30 years, from 6000 in 1986, to under 4000 t in 2013. All landings stay in the US.

Black grouper, red grouper, yellowedge grouper, Warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, scamp and gag are all Not Recommended for both set longlines and vertical lines, due primarily to impacts on other species. Stock of black grouper, red grouper, yellowedge grouper (only in Gulf of Mexico), gag is not considered to be overfished, and it is unlikely overfishing is occurring. However, for Warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, yellowedge grouper (South Atlantic US), stocks are considered depleted and likely to be undergoing overfishing. Bycatch is a significant concern, with impacts on a variety of vulnerable and endangered species from both gear types. Management of the grouper fisheries is considered moderately effective, but the lack of formal stock assessment of several species. Vertical lines have no habitat impacts, while closed areas and gear restrictions reduce seafloor impacts for set longlines. Policies to protect groupers’ role in the ecosystem are in place.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Black grouper

Mycteroperca bonaci

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Handline

Location

S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico

Overall Rating

3.1 - 3.3 / 5

Summary

Commercial landings of grouper in the US is dominated by the Gulf of Mexico, with Gulf of Mexico red grouper landings accounting for more than 50% of combined landings for the seven species assessed. In the South Atlantic (US EEZ in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and east Florida to Key West), gag is the predominant species. Total combined landings have slowly reduced over the last 30 years, from 6000 in 1986, to under 4000 t in 2013. All landings stay in the US.

Black grouper caught by vertical lines in South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico are now Not Recommended due to increased concerns over bycatch. In particular, red snapper, red grouper and hogfish are a high concern. Stock of black grouper not considered to be overfished, and it is unlikely overfishing is occurring.  Management of the grouper fisheries is considered moderately effective, but the lack of formal stock assessment of several species. Vertical lines have no habitat impacts, while closed areas and gear restrictions reduce seafloor impacts for set longlines. Policies to protect groupers’ role in the ecosystem are in place.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Yellowedge grouper

Epinephelus flavolimbatus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Handline

Location

S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico

Overall Rating

1.8-2.3 / 5

Summary

Commercial landings of grouper in the US is dominated by the Gulf of Mexico, with Gulf of Mexico red grouper landings accounting for more than 50% of combined landings for the seven species assessed. In the South Atlantic (US EEZ in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and east Florida to Key West), gag is the predominant species. Total combined landings have slowly reduced over the last 30 years, from 6000 in 1986, to under 4000 t in 2013. All landings stay in the US.

Black grouper, red grouper, yellowedge grouper, Warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, scamp and gag are all Not Recommended for both set longlines and vertical lines, due primarily to impacts on other species. Stock of black grouper, red grouper, yellowedge grouper (only in Gulf of Mexico), gag is not considered to be overfished, and it is unlikely overfishing is occurring. However, for Warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, yellowedge grouper (South Atlantic US), stocks are considered depleted and likely to be undergoing overfishing. Bycatch is a significant concern, with impacts on a variety of vulnerable and endangered species from both gear types. Management of the grouper fisheries is considered moderately effective, but the lack of formal stock assessment of several species. Vertical lines have no habitat impacts, while closed areas and gear restrictions reduce seafloor impacts for set longlines. Policies to protect groupers’ role in the ecosystem are in place.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Black grouper

Mycteroperca bonaci

Method

Wild

Bottom longline

Location

Mexico

Overall Rating

1.4 / 5

Summary

The Mexican bottom longline fishery targets black and red grouper off the Campeche Bank in the Gulf of Mexico. It is a small scale fishery that mostly supplies the local market. Red and Black grouper are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and recent assessments indicate that the stock is overfished. There are also challenges due to the multi-species nature of the fishery, meaning that species of concern such as mutton snapper, warsaw grouper, and sea turtles are captured. Although a new management plan was introduced for this fishery in 2014, most of the regulations have yet to be implemented.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Snowy grouper

Epinephelus niveatus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Handline

Location

S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico

Overall Rating

1.9 - 2.2 / 5

Summary

Commercial landings of grouper in the US is dominated by the Gulf of Mexico, with Gulf of Mexico red grouper landings accounting for more than 50% of combined landings for the seven species assessed. In the South Atlantic (US EEZ in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and east Florida to Key West), gag is the predominant species. Total combined landings have slowly reduced over the last 30 years, from 6000 in 1986, to under 4000 t in 2013. All landings stay in the US.

Black grouper, red grouper, yellowedge grouper, Warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, scamp and gag are all Not Recommended for both set longlines and vertical lines, due primarily to impacts on other species. Stock of black grouper, red grouper, yellowedge grouper (only in Gulf of Mexico), gag is not considered to be overfished, and it is unlikely overfishing is occurring. However, for Warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, yellowedge grouper (South Atlantic US), stocks are considered depleted and likely to be undergoing overfishing. Bycatch is a significant concern, with impacts on a variety of vulnerable and endangered species from both gear types. Management of the grouper fisheries is considered moderately effective, but the lack of formal stock assessment of several species. Vertical lines have no habitat impacts, while closed areas and gear restrictions reduce seafloor impacts for set longlines. Policies to protect groupers’ role in the ecosystem are in place.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Warsaw grouper

Epinephelus nigritus

Method

Wild

Bottom longline, Handline

Location

Gulf of Mexico

Overall Rating

1.8 - 2 / 5

Summary

Commercial landings of grouper in the US is dominated by the Gulf of Mexico, with Gulf of Mexico red grouper landings accounting for more than 50% of combined landings for the seven species assessed. In the South Atlantic (US EEZ in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and east Florida to Key West), gag is the predominant species. Total combined landings have slowly reduced over the last 30 years, from 6000 in 1986, to under 4000 t in 2013. All landings stay in the US.

Black grouper, red grouper, yellowedge grouper, Warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, scamp and gag are all Not Recommended for both set longlines and vertical lines, due primarily to impacts on other species. Stock of black grouper, red grouper, yellowedge grouper (only in Gulf of Mexico), gag is not considered to be overfished, and it is unlikely overfishing is occurring. However, for Warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, yellowedge grouper (South Atlantic US), stocks are considered depleted and likely to be undergoing overfishing. Bycatch is a significant concern, with impacts on a variety of vulnerable and endangered species from both gear types. Management of the grouper fisheries is considered moderately effective, but the lack of formal stock assessment of several species. Vertical lines have no habitat impacts, while closed areas and gear restrictions reduce seafloor impacts for set longlines. Policies to protect groupers’ role in the ecosystem are in place.

Learn more about harvest methods

Variety

Red grouper

Ephinephelus morio

Method

Wild

Bottom longline

Location

Mexico

Overall Rating

1.2 / 5

Summary

The Mexican bottom longline fishery targets black and red grouper off the Campeche Bank in the Gulf of Mexico. It is a small scale fishery that mostly supplies the local market. Red and Black grouper are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and recent assessments indicate that the stock is overfished. There are also challenges due to the multi-species nature of the fishery, meaning that species of concern such as mutton snapper, warsaw grouper, and sea turtles are captured. Although a new management plan was introduced for this fishery in 2014, most of the regulations have yet to be implemented.

Learn more about harvest methods