I’ve had some incredible adventures this year. I spent two months in West Africa, caught my best ever wave while surfing in Dakar, and I ate my first lionfish in the Caribbean. But my top big beast encounter was without doubt when I met goliath groupers for the first time.
In my latest report for BBC Radio 4’s Saving Species I go to Florida to meet Dr Sarah Frias Torres and the enormous fish she studies in the deep waters on the fringes of the Gulf Stream. Goliaths (Epinephelus itajara) are Critically Endangered according to the IUCN because for decades they were a favourite target of sports fishermen. For a while a commercial fishery targeted them to make into cat food. Now the species is strictly protected in Florida and they are doing better than they were.