My first endangered species art feature of 2016 - the Atlantic Goliath Grouper!
This gorgeous giant was a very fun fish to paint. ☺
The goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) truly lives up to it's name - this fish can be over 8 feet long, and weigh 800 pounds! Once they reach adulthood this massive fish has few natural predators. This very inquisitive fish can be quite fearless - they have been known to attack large sharks, and even humans! (Especially if the human is spearfishing and holding tasty snacks.) In the old days this fearlessness made them easy prey for spearfishermen, they were a highly sought after sport fish, and now the goliath grouper is critically endangered.
The goliath grouper has been a protected species since the early 90's. If this fish is caught, fishermen must free the animal to the water alive and unharmed. Large fish are not to be removed from the water, because their skeletal structure cannot support their massive weight out of the water without causing internal damage.
(Link to goliath grouper handling information from the Florida Wildlife Commission.)
The goliath grouper population is slowly recovering since the harvest ban, and they were successfully bred in captivity for the first time in May 2015!
The original painting is an 8x10 watercolor, painted with teensy tiny detail brushes. ☺
Legal: All artwork displayed here is © Amber Marine 2016, all rights reserved. Do not alter. Do not use this artwork in any way without a directly written legal agreement from the artist.