Black Sea Fishes

The Black Sea is a favorite and familiar to many tourists. They are happy to return to its shores in the summer, in anticipation of a beach holiday and excellent fishing. Not all species of fish that live in the Black Sea can be caught with a fishing rod. Some are very large, others are secretive and prefer a benthic lifestyle, almost never rising to the surface. To learn in detail what kind of fish are found in the Black Sea and to see most of them you can in the oceanarium.

Name and description of the fish of the Black Sea

A peculiarity of the sea is the high concentration of hydrogen sulfide below the level of 150-200 m, the main life is concentrated in the upper and middle layers. Some species have inherited the names of their freshwater relatives, such as gobies, perch, and crucian carp.

Famous and rare species

Fish living in the Black Sea are divided into rare and commercial fish. Some are on the verge of extinction and are included in the Red Book. There are among them recognized leaders in terms of taste, size, numbers, originality of appearance, danger.


Red Mullet - Black SeaThe prized commercial fish ranks among the top tastes and popularity among anglers. Its body length reaches 20-40 cm, the lower jaw is decorated with long tendrils. They play an important role in the nutritional process. With them the fish stir up the bottom silt in search of something tasty. The coloration of the scales is bright with a predominance of red.

An interesting feature is the ability to change color. After catching, it takes on rich red tones and then gradually turns pale. Meat is considered very nutritious, regardless of the method of cooking. Most often it is roasted on coals, salted and dried.


It was so named because of its large head. It reproduces very quickly, gradually expanding its habitat. Prefers warm sun-warmed shoals. Indiscriminate in food, so it catches even children.

The peculiarity is the almost complete absence of scales, it is replaced by a dense skin. In the process of evolution, the lower fins fused to form a suction cup. With its help, the goby clings to the rocks and is held during the tides.

Guban (or greenishka)

Guban fish

Unusual fish immediately remember the characteristic shape of the lips and greenish hue of the scales, mottled with small dark spots. It belongs to the perch family and has no commercial value.

During the spawning period, they build nests between rocks and in crevices; one female can lay up to 50 thousand eggs. The diet includes mollusks, small crustaceans, worms.

Sea Dog

When studying the question of what species of fish are found in the Black Sea and how many of them, it was found that about 190 – 200. One of the most harmless inhabitants is considered a small gregarious sea dogfish. Its body length rarely exceeds 4 cm. It lives in shallow water and tries not to go below the 10-meter mark. Feels good only in large company.

Sea Rooster

Sea rooster - fish of the Black SeaThis fish in the Black Sea divers immediately recognize by protruding fins, colorful coloration and scrappy nature. The body length reaches 90 cm, the weight of a large individual is 5 kg. Very bright fins open with a fan, when accelerated, the rooster jumps out of the water and flies several meters. It is protected from enemies by a bone comb on the head with small spikes and scales with cone-shaped sharp protrusions. Feeds on mollusks, crayfish, crabs.

Because of the delicious meat, similar to chicken, were almost exterminated, included in the Red Book, extraction is prohibited.

The original determines the edibility of prey by groping it with its lower radial appendages. Juveniles eat several times a day, adults enough for one meal of clams, shrimp and small fish. Of all the marine fish of the Black Sea, the rooster prefers mullet.


One of the most amazing fish that exists in the Black Sea, it really resembles an igloo or a thin snake.It loves to travel and easily travels between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. It spawns several times a year, beginning in April and ending in October 20. The maturation period is long, from 3 to 6 years, lives in flocks, serves as food for dolphins and predatory fish.

It feeds on crustaceans, does not bother to catch them, but simply draws them in with the water. It is considered a relative of the seahorse. Has a habit of leaning on his tail when stopped and a similar mouth thrush.


Its original body shape made it completely unlike those fish that live in the Black Sea. The image of the skate has become so popular that it appears in many cartoons about underwater inhabitants. He has an elongated snout and a flexible clingy tail. Protective coloration allows hiding among the bottom plants and algae.

Despite its grotesque appearance, it is quite a fast predator. He does not swing at big game, small crustaceans and worms are enough for him. The ancestors of the skate appeared several million years ago, since then its appearance has not changed much.

Commercial fish

Lovers of seafood delicacies are well aware that the fish that lives in the Black Sea has very few bones, contains phosphorus and other trace elements, the meat is delicious, having a slight smell of iodine.


It can be seen from afar by the bubbling of the water. The fish swims in a school of several hundred specimens, in the excitement of the chase can jump out of the water in pursuit of prey. But it often becomes a delicacy for the dolphins. The weight limit for an adult is 2 kg.


Khamsa is found in the Black SeaValued in fishing, the huge shoals during the migration are constantly accompanied by gulls and dolphins, collecting their tribute. Khamsa feed on zooplankton, the largest accumulation is observed in the area of Novorossiysk. The peculiarity is considered a constant movement between the banks and in the water column, where it moves from the surface to a depth of up to 80 m in winter.


Its characteristic features are sharp teeth, a body flattened on the sides designed to chase prey, and a powerful gregarious instinct. He is sometimes called a sea wolf for his ability to act together. But it also becomes a desired prey for fishermen. Chefs around the world appreciate this fish, inventing new recipes for its preparation.

Sea bass

A total of 110 species are known, the Black Sea is caught on an industrial scale, amateur fishermen prepare bottom tackle for it every season. Sometimes it is called smarida, redhead, or beaver. The small size is made up for by the great taste. Like its freshwater counterparts, it has a spiky dorsal fin, fine scales, a body flattened from the sides, and small fangs on its lower jaw.

A unique feature is the change in coloration with age. Even more surprisingly, after 2 years of life, the female turns into a male. The life expectancy of the perch is about 4 years, the oldest individual caught is 7 years old.


It’s what’s on the shelves of stores. Subject to seasonal catch, when it gathers in schools of several thousand specimens, the average size of about 40 cm, the scales are silvery, darker on the back. Predator, feeds on small crustaceans, tulka, coho salmon.


Mackerel - Black Sea

Its coloring allows it to remain invisible against the background of the bottom and algae. The fimbriated body is covered from above with small dark stripes; the abdomen is lighter, silvery. During the spawning period and by winter, it migrates to the Barents Sea and the White Sea. Packs consist of fish of the same age, do not tolerate other species, except herring, develop speed up to 77 km / h, mature by 2-3 years, live about 17 years.

Very valuable from a culinary point of view. Meat is fatty, high in vitamin B12, recommended for general weakening of the body, lack of iodine, trace elements.


The flattened shape, more reminiscent of a pancake, indicates its benthic lifestyle. Its dark back and yellowish-white abdomen make it almost invisible against the ground.

The most prolific fish in the Black Sea, the second name is sagebrush. Eggs are buoyant, after spawning they rise to the upper layers warmed by the sun and drift on the waves, spreading over long distances. In the middle of the 20th century, it was caught in large numbers, which led to a decline in the population.


It is considered the largest fish in the Black Sea. The weight of a single specimen reaches 1,500-200 kg, with records weighing up to 2 tons with a body length of 7-9 m. It belongs to the sturgeon species.

Several centuries ago the beluga population was very large, but active fishing has greatly reduced the numbers, which continue to fall.

Dangerous fish of the Black Sea

They are few, most prefer to live near the bottom, where it is convenient to track down prey. But there are also the swift predators that accompany flocks of commercial species and compete with them in speed and maneuverability.

Scorpene ruff

Scorpene ruff - a dangerous inhabitant of the Black SeaIts appearance is reminiscent of a real miracle creature. Bright color, bizarre growths on the head and body, lower fins turned into bone rays give her a creepy look. Lives on the bottom, hunting crustaceans, invertebrates, small fish. Body weight rarely reaches 1 kg, mostly remaining within the 300-400 g range. The dorsal fins are dangerous. When injected with them, the tips break off and remain in the wound, provoking severe inflammation.


It is listed as one of the five most dangerous sea creatures. The second name is the sea dragon. Externally, it looks like a steer, only more mottled. From the large head, the body gradually thins to the tail, with several oblique sharp spines growing on the gills. The dorsal fins are also equipped with barbs. It lives in shallow water, stays near the bottom, sometimes goes down to the depths.

A ruthless predator, it burrows completely into the ground, only its bulging eyes remain on the surface. Dangerous for vacationers, as it is very difficult to spot on the bottom. After the injection the poison enters the blood, which leads to severe poisoning of the body.

Medical help is needed as soon as possible.

Black Sea Scorpene

The dangerous beauty barely reaches 30 cm in length and weighs an average of 500-600 g, but its barbs can cause serious harm. Mostly fishermen and curious divers suffer. The large, flattened snout and convex eyes under the powerful brow arches give it a fierce appearance, which is enhanced by the spiky fins and militant light brown color with irregular spots.

It refers to predators, can go down to a depth of 40 m, stays away from places where rivers flow, very demanding to the level of water salinity. Prefers bushy algae, piles of rocks, where it is convenient to ambush the zazevyaschih minnow.


Stingray - Black SeaHe also likes bottom space. Its movement in the water column resembles an elegant flight, but a sharp spike, which grows to 70 cm, immediately warns of danger. The needles are jagged and contain venom that causes serious injury, up to and including partial paralysis. The tail of an adult is capable of piercing leather shoes with its spikes.

The stingray’s body is flat, resembling a rhombus or elongated oval in length, reaching up to 2 m in size. The back is darker, covered with small spots, acting as camouflage for more successful hunting.


The small Black Sea shark reaches 1-2 meters in length and weighs up to 25 kg. It rarely attacks, staying away from the shore. The peculiarity lies in the poisonous mucus on the surface of the body and the spikes. The shot is not fatal, but can cause a few unpleasant hours. It feeds on anchovy and horse mackerel, often accompanies large schools of fish during the migration.


Black Sea Dolphins

Black Sea dolphins belong to the suborder of toothed whales and are the only representatives of this species in the Black Sea.

Three varieties are found among the water expanses:

  • aphalins;
  • squirrels;
  • guinea pigs or pestilence.

They feed on fish, accompany shoals going to spawn and seasonal migration. Individuals are very curious and swim close to pleasure boats and yachts. Prefer the shelf zone, not afraid of the depths, diving for food at 80-90 m.

Video overview of the Black Sea inhabitants

The underwater world of the Black Sea is amazing and diverse, but very vulnerable. Even dangerous fish don’t just attack, preferring to swim inconspicuously away from noisy beaches. Therefore, if you pay attention to the inhabitants of the sea holiday will be great.

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