Snowy grouper live over rocky bottoms in deep waters of the western Atlantic, from Massachusetts, throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, and south to Brazil. In the Gulf, snowy grouper are most abundant off South Florida and the northwestern coast of Cuba. The grouper fishery is primarily concentrated on the West Florida Shelf. Commercial fishermen account for the majority of the annual harvest of this excellent-tasting fish.
Federal authorities including NOAA Fisheries and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council are responsible for monitoring and managing deepwater groupers like snowy grouper. Any applicable state management measures are fairly consistent with federal measures — some states automatically adopt federal regulations; others have separate regulations. Gulf state and federal enforcement agents partner to enforce fisheries laws and regulations. The Gulf states also help collect data on commercial and recreational fisheries for snowy grouper, providing important information to support management of this valuable resource.
The status of the snowy grouper population in the Gulf is currently unknown. For more information about snowy grouper, see the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s site.