Goliath Grouper Responses to Anthropogenic Stimuli


The goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) is a large, dominant, and increasingly pervasive marine predator inhabiting natural and artificial reef systems throughout Florida. Despite its notoriety as a “booming” sound producer, no studies have experimentally quantified the sounds generated by goliath grouper in response to various types of stimuli. This data gap impedes our ability to understand the conditions that facilitate sound production. Through a highly coordinated and collaborative effort with a variety of academic and industry partners (Mote Marine Lab, EPS Corporation, NSWC) we are conducting controlled experimental studies to quantify goliath grouper sound production and kinematics in order to understand behavioral responses of fish to non-native objects in their environment. This work has the potential to unravel several aspects of the species’ mysterious behavior in the context of their increasingly altered ecosystem while providing information on the plasticity of acoustic responses in this species.

Funding Sources: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors Program

Collaborators: FAU - L. Cherubin, H. Zhuang, N. Erdol, MOTE - J. Locascio, NSWC - C.Matthews, EPS Corporation - T. Matthews