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. Two species Neogobius caspius and N. pallasi were the main components of demersal fishes; however in some regions Rutilus caspicus, Rutilus kutum and Liza spp. were dominated. Most places were dominantly occupied by Atherina boyeri, which had the highest abundance among the pelagic fishes. Conversely, the Ponticola gorlap, N. melanostomus and Proterorhinus nasalis showed the lowest abundances (less than 1 ind./100 m2). Benthophilus stellatus and P. nasali had the lowest niche overlaps with other species. Both of these two species and P. gorlap are suggested to be classified as endangered or vulnerable species based on their low abundance. The distribution of Syngnathus abaster 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 abundances. 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 Liza spp. and Rutilus kutum. 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 provide a good source of food for these fish species.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 12, 2016
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