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USMNT star Pulisic criticised after falling off boat on to endangered goliath grouper fish following ball juggling stunt

17:05 BST 04/07/2021
Christian Pulisic Goliath Grouper
The Chelsea attacker has found himself in hot water after going viral on social media

Chelsea and USMNT midfielder Christian Pulisic has found himself at the centre of a storm involving a goliath grouper.

On Saturday, a video went viral on social media showing the 22-year-old sitting on a boat, juggling a ball over one of the giant fish, which was held on a line.

Pulisic, rather embarrassingly, lost control of the ball and fell into the water, on top of the fish, which struggled as a result.

What was said?

Pulisic, who played 43 times for Chelsea last season and scored six goals, was criticised by the Blue Planet Society, a volunteer pressure group campaigning to end the overexploitation of the world’s ocean.

On its Twitter account, it posted: “Abusing a threatened goliath grouper for a social media video is a new low.”

What is a goliath grouper?

A goliath grouper is a large saltwater fish found in tropical waters. It can be found most commonly in waters off the eastern coast of the Americas, including Florida Keys, the Bahamas, much of the Caribbean and the Brazilian coast. It is less commonly found off the coast of Africa from Congo to Senegal.

Its conservation status is classed as ‘vulnerable’, which means there is no immediate concern over its future.

However, due to the fact that they tend to spawn in large aggregations and return annually to the same locations, this makes them vulnerable to mass harvesting. 

As such, a harvest ban was imposed because the population was in rapid decline. It has been protected in the USA since 1990 and the Caribbean since 1993. 

The fish have a slow growth rate, which means that the population will take some time to return to its previous state.

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