ISSN 10630740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2016, Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 178–189. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2016.
Pelagic fish mostly Caspian sprat showed the high
est biomass  and were the main food source for
high tropic levels of the Caspian Sea [26, 53]. Other
species such as invertebrates and demersal fishes espe
cially Gobiidae species [58, 61, 69] were replaced the
pelagic fish, after their collapse [23, 31, 63]. Generally,
the Caspian sea is characterized by a small variety of
fish species compared to open ocean regions, with 126
from 17 families, most of them are carps (33%), gobies
(28%) and shads (14%) . Bogutskaya et al
reported 162 species and subspecies from 19 families
in the Caspian basin and its rivers, from those100 spe
cies (62%) were endemic.
Demersal bony fishes have been distributed
throughout the Caspian Sea and some of them are
commercially valuable species. Some of these species
are native to the European and PontoCaspian regions
The article is published in the original.
and are invasive to other regions even to Canadian and
American lakes [19, 39, 47, 70]. They showed to have
negative ecological impacts on ecosystems, even
though they have been used as prey [38, 62]. Demersal
fish with their vast distribution and relatively high
abundance provide a good source of food for endan
gered species such as sturgeons and the Caspian seal,
as well as for the commercial fishes [2, 9, 10, 13, 14, 36].
These positive effects of invasive species were previ
ously observed for round goby in Lake Erie Water
Snake . The Caspian fish’s checklist from south
ern area has been previously presented by Coad ,
Abdoli and Naderi , Esmaeili et al. [27, 28] and
Bogutskaya et al
. However, there is not any data
reported on fish abundance, and all records are based
on ichthyological collections and additional field
expeditions for only identification purposes.
Little information is available on the abundance of
demersal fish in the southern Caspian Sea. For
instance, Kiabi et al.
 assessed their IUCN status
Distribution and Abundance of Fish in the Southwest
of Caspian Sea Coastal Waters
, Amir Hossein Hamidian
*, Keyvan Abbasi
, and Mahmoud Karami
Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, P.O. Box 4314, 3158777878 Karaj, Iran
Inland waters Aquaculture Research Center, Iranian Fisheries Science Research Institute,
Agricultural Research Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Badar Anzali, P.O. Box 66, Iran
Received September 24, 2015
This study was carried out in southwestern Caspian Sea coastal area to elucidate demersal bony
fishes distribution and abundance. Twenty two species were found in shore line, which belong to 6 families.
In deeper waters down to 7 meters only 5 species of Gobiidae and 1 species of Syngnathidae were identified.
were the main components of demersal fishes; however in some
were dominated. Most places were dominantly occupied
which had the highest abundance among the pelagic fishes. Conversely, the
lap, N. melanostomus
showed the lowest abundances (less than 1 ind./100 m
had the lowest niche overlaps with other species. Both of these two species
are suggested to be classified as endangered or vulnerable species based on their low abundance.
The distribution of
depends on algae, while algae grow up into the stony construction of
the coastal line. A negative insignificant correlation was observed between pelagic and demersal fish abun
dances. The commercial fisheries data of 76 beach seines in our study area during 2002–2013 was compared
with our results on fish abundance and species composition. More than 93% of total fish catch constituted
. The relationship between the abundance and distribution of the studied species,
and the restocking activities performed by Iranian fisheries organization are discussed. The high abundance
and distribution of small size fish in tidal zone could be related to the distribution of crustacean, which pro
vide a good source of food for these fish species.
Caspian Sea, abundance, distribution, demersal fish, Gobiidae