Identification of critical demersal fish habitats in the Northeast Mediterranean - with an emphasis on Mullus barbatus

Ali Cemal GÜCÜ, Ferit BİNGEL


The study determines the spawning and the nursery grounds of the important demersal fishes evaluating the fisheries data collected in 1983-1984. For this purpose, the spatial distribution of mean size, abundance, and biomass of fish communities on the northeastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea was evaluated. The emphasis has been given to red mullet, Mullus barbatus. During the spawning season, it was not possible to draw a clearcut bounderies for the spawning ground; rather, the stocks were distributed along the basin on an offshore band around 50 – 80 m depth. After the spawning season, the fishes were aggregated on the shallow waters (5-15 m). Among them, the most important nursery sites were found near the rivers, where the highest biomass and abundance values were recorded throughout the study. The paper also discusses the impact of Lessepsian species on critical habitats.


Spawning and nursery grounds, demersal fish stocks, Lessepsian migration, South coast of Turkey, Mediterranean

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