A joint research between the Rosario Islands Oceanarium - CEINER, CENIACUA and Benchmark Genetics Colombia closed the cycle of goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara).
This species is naturally distributed from the southern United States (Florida), the Gulf of Mexico, the entire Caribbean Sea to southern Brazil and in Africa from the Congo to Senegal. It is categorized as “Critically Endangered” according to the Red Book of Marine Fishes of Colombia.
No research was successful until 2015 when the team of researchers collected wild-fertilized grouper eggs obtaining thousands of larvae that were reared both in the laboratories of the Oceanarium and in Colombian Aquaculture Research Center (CENIACUA) in Punta Canoa, Cartagena.
Now, researchers, together with CENIACUA and Benchmark Genetics Colombia and funding from the National Authority of Aquaculture and Fisheries (AUNAP), achieved the first artificial fertilization in September 2020 with 5,000 larvae currently being reared.