- LIFE area: French Guiana & Saint-Martin
- Scientific name: Epinephelus itajara
- Conservation status (IUCN): Vulnerable (VU)
- Diet: Crustaceans, fish
- Hábitat: Tropical and sub-tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean
Victim of intensive over-fishing during the 1980s, the species is now found only in part of the western Atlantic Ocean (between Brazil and Florida). Other than a prefectural decree regulating sport fishing at sea in Guiana and the protection afforded within the Grand-Connétable island and Saint-Martin nature reserves there is no official protection. Various fishing activities, sometimes intense and with little respect for the species, targeting young as well as adults, don’t allow for the renewal of the species’ population.
Increasing tourism and consequent building activity on Saint-Martin contribute to habitat destruction through coastal development, increased sewage pollution, clearing the coastal zone and increased frequency of sea- reefs.
In Guiana, habitat pollution is one of the main threats to the species. Lack of management, supervision and control of recreational fishing (in rivers and in the sea) and professional line and driftnet fishing is a major problem.
Coral reefs, the species’ habitat, suffer worldwide from global warming that induces a reduction in the area occupied by coral reefs and episodes of coral bleaching.