Biodiv Sci ›› 2011, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (6): 764-769.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2011.06164

Special Issue: 中国的海洋生物多样性

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Species composition and faunal characteristics of fishes in the Yellow Sea

Jing Liu*(), Ping Ning   

  1. Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, Shandong 266071
  • Received:2011-09-15 Accepted:2011-12-07 Online:2011-11-20 Published:2011-12-19
  • Contact: Jing Liu


Based on records of fishes from the Yellow Sea found in literatures, databases and our own investigations from the 1950’s to 2011, we summarize the species composition and faunal characteristics of fishes in the region. A total of 113 families and 321 species have been recorded in the Yellow Sea. Among them, 139 are warm temperate species, 107 are warm water species, 70 are cold temperate species and only 5 are cold water species. Based on records from the literatures and fish databases, the habitat types of Yellow Sea fish species can be grouped as follows: 193 continental shelf demersal fishes, 41 continental shelf reef-associated fishes, 34 continental shelf pelagic-neritic fishes, 29 continental shelf benthopelagic fishes, 15 oceanic pelagic fishes and 9 oceanic bathydemersal fishes. Since the 1980’s, fishery resources in the Yellow Sea have changed in terms of both species composition and biomass. Engraulis japonicus has become a very dominant species with a high current CUPE, whereas it was relatively low before. Some small and less-valuable species, such as Johnius belengerii, Liparis chefuensis, Amblychaeturichthys hexanema, Enedrias fangi, Ammodytes personatus, have also become dominant species in Yellow Sea fisheries. On the other hand, many traditionally and economically important fishes, such as Larimichthys polyactis, Gadus macrocephalus, Clupea pallasi, Scomberomorus niphonius, Scomber japonicus, Pampus echinogaster etc., have lost dominance and now exhibit a low CPUE. These results suggest that fishery resources in the Yellow Sea have been over-exploited, and that more attention should be paid to the effective management of this resource and its ecological protection.

Key words: fish fauna, habitat type, biodiversity