© 2014 Lee Burghard – Wild Shutter Imaging. All rights reserved. Please contact us for required license/permission for use in any medium : wildshutterimaging@gmail.com

This was filmed during the Goliath Grouper aggregation, over several weeks while diving the MV Castor in Boynton Beach , FL. The aggregation occurs annually in South Florida during the months of August through the end of September.

This is one of a half-dozen sites in the world where you can witness one of the oceans most remarkable gatherings. While this short film only captures a small glimpse of this extraordinary event, being in the water and filming this project was an experience beyond words…I created this film to share that experience… and to persuade others as to why we must continue to protect this…

Unfortunately there is some controversy surrounding the Goliath Groupers here in Florida. They received protection from the state back in the early 90’s due to severe overfishing and near extinction. Over the last several years, we’re seeing the population just begin to come back. However, the same fishing industry that was responsible for their near extinction, is now putting pressure on the state to once again lift the Goliath Grouper’s protection and begin culling these fish. Myself, other divers, and many within the scientific community feel that lifting the Goliath’s protection would only be decimating to the species and all the progress that’s been made.

The South Florida Underwater Photography Society (SFUPS), along with other organizations within the community, are putting together an annual International Goliath Grouper Photo Competition to begin next year. The event will be to support the continued protection of the groupers, and to attract attention from around the globe as the significance of this remarkable aggregation. You can find more information on the event and SFUPS at:
sfups.org/ & goliath.sfups.org/

Special thanks to the owner Kevin Metz of Underwater Explorers for making this whole experience possible. You can find more on Underwater Explorers and their dive charter here:

Interested in seeing more of my work? Visit me at:
Homepage – wildshutterimaging.com
Facebook – facebook.com/wildshutterimaging
Instagram – instagram.com/wild_shutter_imaging/
Blog – wildshutterimaging.wordpress.com

Music by: Odesza – Sun Models

Underwater Equipment:
Canon EOS 6D
Sigma 15mm lens
Nauticam NA-6D housing
Zen DP-200 dome port

Topside Equipment:
Canon EOS 6D
Rokinon 24mm lens
Mefoto Globetrotter carbon fiber tri-pods

By Lee Burghard and Wild Shutter Imaging

Featured on Votiv Earth on March 21st, 2015