The age and growth of the snowy grouper, Epinephelus niveatus, from central and south-eastern Brazil were studied by otolith analysis from a sample of 341 specimens, ranging from 325 to 1216 mm in total length (TL) caught with bottom longlines between 1996 and 1998. Otolith length grew proportionally with the increasing TL of the fish. Marginal increment analysis indicated that a single opaque band forms each year during autumn–winter. The maximum estimated age was 54 years, which significantly extends the previously estimated life-span of 21–29 years for this species. The von Bertalanffy growth parameters for both sexes were estimated as L∞ = 1098.4 mm TL, K = 0.062 year −1 and t0 = –2.68. The study revealed differences in mean length-at-age and size at recruitment, as well as in growth parameters between the central and the south-eastern Brazilian coast, which can be attributed mainly to different fishing pressures. The snowy grouper was found at depths of 82–492 m, and showed a positive relationship between age and depth, suggesting differential movements of older fish to deeper waters.