Found weakened in the Larvotto reserve almost two years ago, a young brown grouper (Epinephelus marginatus), was collected and cared for by teams from the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. Now fully recovered, the juvenile grouper has returned to its natural environment on June 3, joining his peers.

Formerly the victim of poaching and overfishing, this emblematic species has been protected for 30 years through strong protection measures allowing the reconstitution of its populations in the Mediterranean Sea.

The story began on August 18, 2022. A juvenile brown grouper was found by accident in the reserve at Larvotto by the Ecole Bleue Diving Centre, floating on the surface, upside down, with its abdomen inflated.

In recent years several specimens presenting similar symptoms, probably linked to a viral infection, have been observed on the French and Monegasque coastlines.

PHOTO: The young grouper was entrusted to the teams of the Monegasque Centre for the Care of Marine Species (CMSEM) of the Oceanographic Institute, which took care of him and provided him with the care necessary for his survival. Céline Caron, Minister of Infrastructure, Environment and Urban Planning, and Robert Calcagno, Director General of the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco, hand over the brown grouper to Olivier Brunel, Head of the aquarium department at the Oceanographic Museum, in the presence of Valérie Davenet, Director of the Environment at the Prince’s Government and Stéphanie Orengo, Veterinary Manager at the Oceanographic Museum. ©Institut océanographique de Monaco – Philippe Fitte