2023 Edition

Tom Shlesinger

Goliath in Lilliput, 2021

Florida, United States

Category - Ocean Worlds

Goliath in Lilliput, 2021

Atlantic goliath groupers (Epinephelus itajara) are massive fish that can live for decades, grow to 2.5 metres in length and weigh up to 360 kilograms. They gather in large numbers along the Atlantic coast in Florida, United States, returning to the same breeding ground every year. Several decades ago, following a serious decline in the giant grouper population, Florida banned fishing them, allowing the population to recover. Today, new guidelines call for the reopening of the fishery, which could once again put their future at risk. This scene reminded me of a moment in Gulliver’s Travels when he arrives in Lilliput and moves carefully so as not to step on the little Lilliputians. I watched as this large grouper calmly swam through the huge school of small bigeye scads, ignoring the swirling fish, in search of larger prey.

16-35 mm f/2.8 Lens - 1/15 sec at f/16 ISO 50