Hind are a species of grouper fish belonging to the family Serranidae and the genus Epinephelus. Their range covers mostly the western Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico along the North American
coast. Red hind live along the Carolinas and stretch down to Brazil, while the rock hind from New
England to the West Indies. Preferred habitats include jetties, snapper banks, shallow reefs and rocky bottoms. They’ll reach depths as low as 122 m. Adult hind can weigh up to 49 lbs and reach up to 76 cm in length. Most live up to 17 years in the wild, sometimes 22 years. It is estimated they could possibly live up to 50 years of age if they weren’t a popular catch fish. Hind coloration varies, but greenish-gray to light brown with reddish or brown spots is common. Their scales are wet and slimy. They are not fast swimmers and can be found calmly resting behind rocks. They are carnivores though with a diet of crabs and other crustaceans, smaller fish and octopus. Hind are solitary with the exception of reproductive seasons. Hind will swim as far as 30 km from their home range to spawning sites. The spawning season of red hind, also known as koon or lucky grouper, is December and March. Usually one male will pair up with 1-5 females and defend its territory from other males.
Females can lay anywhere from 900,000 to 3,000,000 pelagic eggs for the male to fertilize. Hind become sexually mature around 24 cm in length and 3 years of age. Hind are protogynous
hermaphrodites, meaning all males start off as female and change sex as they mature. Sexual inversion can start as early as 28 cm in length, and most hind larger than 40 cm are likely male.
Hind are a popular catch fish due to their edible, white, flaky meat. The Caribbean and tropical western Atlantic have management measures in place to protect red hind spawning aggregations. These include permanent closures, seasonal closures and seasonal market closures. These measures have helped increase catches and sizes and improve sex ratios in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Destruction of coastal habitats via dredges, coastal fill projects and both residential and industrial development along coastlines is still a concern. Luckily, as of 2018, the red hind population is considered to be of “least concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).