1063-0740/04/3002- © 2004
Russian Journal of Marine Biology, Vol. 30, No. 2, 2004, pp. 138–139.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2004 by Biologiya Morya, Balanov, Shelekhov.
(large-mouth sculpin) is a common
component of the bottom-dwelling ichthyofauna of the
high-boreal species assemblage that inhabits the Paciﬁc
Ocean and Bering Sea [7, 8]. The distribution of this
species extends from the waters off British Columbia in
the east to East Kamchatka and the North Kuril Islands
in the western Paciﬁc Ocean. This ﬁsh is most abundant
in the coastal waters of Alaska, although it is regularly
recorded in the western part of the Bering Sea and off
East Kamchatka [1, 3, 8, 10, 13]. The species inhabits
the bathymetric range of 30 to 800 m deep, with young
specimens, unlike mature individuals, occurring in the
upper layer of this range [5, 8, 10, 13].
A specimen of
was caught in Prostor Bay
(Iturup Island, Sea of Okhotsk) at 45
at a depth of 280–300 m on November 24,
2002. The survey was carried out over the shelf and con-
tinental slope between the 125 and 900 m isobaths in the
period July–December 2002. Samples were taken with
multiﬁlament and monoﬁlament bottom gill nets
45 mm) measuring 6 m in height. The net was
set a total of 188 times, with its average length being
The caught individual (sex remains unknown) mea-
sured 60 cm from the anterior end of the body to the tips
of the median caudal ﬁn rays (fork length) and weighed
7 kg (see ﬁgure). After taking measurements and pho-
tographs, the ﬁsh was released into the sea.
There is no doubt that the caught specimen belongs
, since even the photograph (see ﬁgure)
shows the major characteristics of this species that dis-
tinguish it from another closely related species, the sea
, which is commonly
encountered in the waters off the South Kuril Islands.
First, the total body length of the latter ﬁsh never
exceeds 35–50 cm [2, 11]. Second, in the studied spec-
imen, the ﬁrst dorsal ﬁn and the second dorsal ﬁn are
distinctly separated by a wide gap, all rays in the former
being approximately equal in height; in contrast, in the
sea raven, the ﬁrst dorsal ﬁn originates close to the sec-
ond dorsal ﬁn and the ﬁrst three rays of the former are
signiﬁcantly higher than the others. Third, the ﬁrst dor-
sal ﬁn of the examined specimen has 15 rays, whereas
it has at least 17 rays in the sea raven [6, 9–11, 13].
Recent reports have shown that a number of ﬁsh
species of eastern Paciﬁc origin display an increase in
abundance in the coastal waters of East Kamchatka.
Some of them, including
, appear to be capable
of successful reproduction in this area [3, 4]. The Paciﬁc
waters off the North Kuril Islands (at Onekotan Island)
have been considered thus far the southernmost point of
along the Asian coast [3, 5].
The greatest straits of the Central Kuril Islands
(Kruzenshtern Strait and Bussol’ Strait), which are
First Record of
in the Southeastern Part of the Sea of Okhotsk
A. A. Balanov
and V. A. Shelekhov
Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690041 Russia
Paciﬁc Fisheries Research Center, Vladivostok, 690600 Russia
Received October 10, 2003
—This paper presents data on the ﬁrst record of
. The ﬁsh was caught at a depth of 280–
300 m in the Sea of Okhotsk off the Kuril Islands (Prostor Bay, Iturup Island). It was 60 cm in fork length (FL)
and 7 kg in weight.
, Kuril Islands, Sea of Okhotsk.
caught in Prostor Bay (Iturup
Island, Sea of Okhotsk). FL 60 cm. Dorsal aspect.