Watch: “If it’s smaller than 45cm throw it back in the sea”

The grouper, like many other fish, is at risk of extinction. However, it is easy to catch a baby grouper from near shore without realizing that this could put the fate of this fish at risk.

In comments to tvm.com.mt, marine biologist Sandra Agius Darmanin said that according to the International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN Red List) there is a chance that if nothing is done, a number of species, including the Dusky, will no longer breathe new life into the seas around us in the future.

Asked what can be done to prevent this, Dr Agius Darmanin explained that if a grouper is caught which is no more than half a metre long, according to law, it should be released back into the sea. She explained that particularly in the case of the Dusky species, which takes years to mature and reproduce. She went on to say that most mature groupers are found in open sea while the smaller ones are found in shallow water and nearer the coast.

 

A baby grouper released into the sea near Comino.

Dr Agius Darmanin said that a Research Group for the Conservation of Biology at the University of Malta has just completed a study on these fish hoping to find out more about this species which is fast depleting.