Eastern Blue Groper

Achoerodus Viridis
Eastern Blue Grouper - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Achoerodus Viridis
Other names Blue Groper, Brown Groper, Eastern Blue Wrasse, Giant Pigfish, Red Groper
Size Up to 1.2 m (3.93 ft)
Weight Up to 18 kg (39.6 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal & oceanic waters amongst inshore/offshore rocky reefs
Depth Range 1 - 30 m (100 ft)
Eastern Blue Groper Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Eastern Blue Groper, is a species of fish native to the coastal waters of eastern Australia, including Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania.
  • This species is known for its vibrant and striking coloration. Mature male Eastern Blue Groupers have a deep blue colour on their upper body, transitioning to a pale green or yellow on their lower body, while females and juveniles are brownish-green.
  • Eastern Blue Groper are carnivores and their diet consists of small invertebrates, such as crabs, molluscs, and sea urchins. They use their powerful jaws and sharp teeth to crush and consume their prey.
  • They have a reputation for being intelligent and can become quite friendly towards divers who visit them regularly. Some individuals have been known to interact playfully with divers, allowing close-up observations.
  • These fish play an important role in their ecosystems, helping to control populations of invertebrates like sea urchins, which can overgraze on kelp forests and seagrass beds.
  • Eastern Blue Groupers are protogynous hermaphrodites, which means they start their lives as females and later transition to males. This transformation usually occurs when the dominant male in a group dies or disappears.
  • Breeding for Eastern Blue Groupers typically occurs during the austral spring and summer months, from September to February. During this time, the males develop vibrant blue coloration to attract females and defend territories.
  • They form harems, with a dominant male presiding over a group of females. The male builds and maintains a territory, where the females lay their eggs. Mating occurs when the male leads a female into his territory and they release eggs and sperm simultaneously.
  • They are a long lived species with a estimated lifespan up to 30 years or more in the wild.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Snorkeling & Diving

In Australia, Eastern Blue Groupers are protected and considered a “no-take” species. This means they cannot be targeted or harvested by recreational or commercial fishers. Whilst they are not typically targeted for recreational fishing, accidental captures can occur. If caught unintentionally, they should be released and handled with care to ensure their survival. Despite their protected status, Eastern Blue Groupers can still be observed by snorkelers and divers in their natural habitats along the eastern coast of Australia. They are known to be relatively curious and may approach divers.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Achoerodus

Species: Achoerodus Viridis

Conservation Status

The Eastern Blue Groper is protected under various state and territory fisheries regulations and may be listed as a “no-take” species. It also benefits from the establishment of marine protected areas and may receive additional protection due to its cultural significance and ecological importance. Globally it’s conservation status is considered to be “Least Concern” according to the assessments conducted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Fish Taste Quality

Eastern Blue Groper are a protected species in Australia and should not be eaten.

Taste Rating: NA

How to catch
Eastern Blue Groper

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig

Bait: Crab, Fresh cut flesh baits, Octopus, Pilchards, Prawns, Shellfish, Squid, Worms

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure

Popularity: Not targeted - Bycatch

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Curious

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

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