Laws protecting the Atlantic Goliath Grouper Epinephelus itajara from fishing in federal and state waters of the United States occurred in 1990 after the species was identified as being severely overfished. Population increases that occurred during the first 20 years of the closure were followed by a decline in the 10 years thereafter. Despite the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s call to retain full protection for this species in federal waters, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) opened a limited fishery in state waters for juveniles in 2022. This paper reviews available scientific literature and datasets on Goliath Grouper trends (including the REEF Volunteer Fish Survey Project database, which represents the best available long-term data on adult Goliath Grouper in Florida), and presents information on the limits of Goliath Grouper recovery, the varied threats the species is facing, and the ensuing factors that precipitated the species subsequent decline. The authors discuss the risks associated with management decisions that ignore the best available scientific information, and they compare management differences and difficulties among nations within the Atlantic Goliath Grouper’s global range.