Coastal fish

Coastal fish

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Coastal fish, also called offshore fish or neritic fish, are fish that inhabit the sea between the shoreline and the edge of the continental shelf
Continental shelf
The continental shelf is the extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain. Much of the shelf was exposed during glacial periods, but is now submerged under relatively shallow seas and gulfs, and was similarly submerged during other interglacial periods. The continental margin,...

. Since the continental shelf is usually less than 200 metres deep, it follows that pelagic
Pelagic fish
Pelagic fish live near the surface or in the water column of coastal, ocean and lake waters, but not on the bottom of the sea or the lake. They can be contrasted with demersal fish, which do live on or near the bottom, and reef fish which are associated with coral reefs.The marine pelagic...

 coastal fish are generally epipelagic fish, inhabiting the sunlit epipelagic zone. Coastal fish can be contrasted with ocean fish or offshore fish, which inhabit the oceans beyond the continental shelves.

Coastal fish are most abundant in the world. They can be found in tidal pools, fjord
Fjord
Geologically, a fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created in a valley carved by glacial activity.-Formation:A fjord is formed when a glacier cuts a U-shaped valley by abrasion of the surrounding bedrock. Glacial melting is accompanied by rebound of Earth's crust as the ice...

s and estuaries, near sandy shores and rocky coastlines, around coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

s and on or above the continental shelf. Coastal fish include forage fish
Forage fish
Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish, are small fish which are preyed on by larger predators for food. Predators include other larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Typical ocean forage fish feed near the base of the food chain on plankton, often by filter feeding...

 as well as the predator fish that feed on them. Forage fish thrive in inshore waters where high productivity
Primary production
400px|thumb|Global oceanic and terrestrial photoautotroph abundance, from September [[1997]] to August 2000. As an estimate of autotroph biomass, it is only a rough indicator of primary production potential, and not an actual estimate of it...

 results from upwelling
Upwelling
Upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon that involves wind-driven motion of dense, cooler, and usually nutrient-rich water towards the ocean surface, replacing the warmer, usually nutrient-depleted surface water. The increased availability in upwelling regions results in high levels of primary...

 and shoreline run off of nutrients. Some are partial residents that spawn in streams, estuaries and bays, but most complete their life cycle in the zone.

Coastal habitats


Coastal fish are found in the waters above the continental shelves
Continental shelf
The continental shelf is the extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain. Much of the shelf was exposed during glacial periods, but is now submerged under relatively shallow seas and gulfs, and was similarly submerged during other interglacial periods. The continental margin,...

 that extend from the continental shorelines, and around the coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

s that surround volcanic islands. The total world shoreline extends for 356,000 km (221,000 mi) and the continental shelves occupy a total area of 24.286 million km2 (9 376 million sq mi). This is about 4.8% of the world's total area of 510.072 million km2.

Nearshore fish


Nearshore fish, sometimes called littoral fish, live close to the shore. They are associated with the intertidal zone
Intertidal zone
The intertidal zone is the area that is above water at low tide and under water at high tide . This area can include many different types of habitats, with many types of animals like starfish, sea urchins, and some species of coral...

, or with estuaries, lagoon
Lagoon
A lagoon is a body of shallow sea water or brackish water separated from the sea by some form of barrier. The EU's habitat directive defines lagoons as "expanses of shallow coastal salt water, of varying salinity or water volume, wholly or partially separated from the sea by sand banks or shingle,...

s, coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

s, kelp forest
Kelp forest
Kelp forests are underwater areas with a high density of kelp. They are recognized as one of the most productive and dynamic ecosystems on Earth. Smaller areas of anchored kelp are called kelp beds....

s, seagrass meadows, or rocky or sandy bottoms, usually in shallow waters less than about 10 m deep.

Intertidal fish


Intertidal fish are fish that move in and out with the tide
Tide
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the Earth....

 in the intertidal zone
Intertidal zone
The intertidal zone is the area that is above water at low tide and under water at high tide . This area can include many different types of habitats, with many types of animals like starfish, sea urchins, and some species of coral...

 of the seashore
Seashore
-Landform:* Coast* Intertidal zone, between high and low water lines* National seashore, a special designation in the United States* Shore-Other:* Seashore , an open source image editor, based on GIMP written in Cocoa for Mac OS X...

, or are found in rock pools or under rocks.

The intertidal zone
Intertidal zone
The intertidal zone is the area that is above water at low tide and under water at high tide . This area can include many different types of habitats, with many types of animals like starfish, sea urchins, and some species of coral...

 of rocky shores can contain indentations which trap pools of salty water, called rock pools. Living in these habitats are communities of hardy plant and animal species specially adapted for coping with the volatile environment around them. The plants and animals interact with each other and with the rock pool to form miniature ecosystem
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

s, easily accessible to students and a source of fascination for young children. Plants such as sea anemone
Sea anemone
Sea anemones are a group of water-dwelling, predatory animals of the order Actiniaria; they are named after the anemone, a terrestrial flower. Sea anemones are classified in the phylum Cnidaria, class Anthozoa, subclass Zoantharia. Anthozoa often have large polyps that allow for digestion of larger...

s and seaweed
Seaweed
Seaweed is a loose, colloquial term encompassing macroscopic, multicellular, benthic marine algae. The term includes some members of the red, brown and green algae...

s, and molluscs such as the common limpet
Limpet
Limpet is a common name for a number of different kinds of saltwater and freshwater snails ; it is applied to those snails that have a simple shell which is more or less conical in shape, and either is not spirally coiled, or appears not to be coiled in the adult snails.The name limpet is most...

, barnacle
Barnacle
A barnacle is a type of arthropod belonging to infraclass Cirripedia in the subphylum Crustacea, and is hence related to crabs and lobsters. Barnacles are exclusively marine, and tend to live in shallow and tidal waters, typically in erosive settings. They are sessile suspension feeders, and have...

s and the common periwinkle
Common Periwinkle
The common periwinkle or winkle, scientific name Littorina littorea, is a species of small edible sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk which has gills and an operculum, and is classified within the family Littorinidae, the periwinkles....

 can be permanent residents of rock pools. But most rock pool animals, such as crab
Crab
True crabs are decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" , or where the reduced abdomen is entirely hidden under the thorax...

s, shrimp
Shrimp
Shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Adult shrimp are filter feeding benthic animals living close to the bottom. They can live in schools and can swim rapidly backwards. Shrimp are an important...

 and fish are just temporary residents, occupying a rock pool only until the next tide takes them to a new location.

Some rock pool fish which are temporary residents include the long-spined sea scorpion
Long-spined Sea Scorpion
Taurulus bubalis, known as the longspined bullhead or the longspined sea-scorpion, is a coastal fish of the sculpin family Cottidae, inhabiting waters of Northern Europe.-Description:...

, the pipefish worm, the rock goby
Rock goby
The rock goby, Gobius paganellus, is a small coastal fish of eastern Atlantic waters, from Scotland to Senegal. It is also reported from the Mediterranean and Black Seas, and is a Lessepsian migrant in the Gulf of Eilat and Red Sea...

 and the common lumpsucker
Lumpsucker
Lumpsuckers or lumpfish are mostly small scorpaeniform marine fish of the family Cyclopteridae. They are found in the cold waters of the Arctic, North Atlantic, and North Pacific oceans...

. However some other rock pool fish are territorial in nature, and will stay with the same pool for extended periods. Examples are the common blenny and its near relative the butterfish.
  • The common blenny, also known as the shanny, are found in northern temperate waters. They hide under rocks and in crannies in rock pools when the tide is out. They feed on green seaweed and invertebrates such as barnacles. They can crawl on dry land, using their paired fins. About sixteen centimetres long, they have smooth skin, without scales, and are covered with soft slime. The slime prevents them drying if they are stranded on a shore between tides. So long as their skin stays moist they can breathe out of water. They are sometimes called "sea frogs" because they bask in the sun on weeds outside the water, and like frogs jump to safety when disturbed. They can change their colour to match their surroundings. The female lays eggs in crevices or under stones and the male guards them until they hatch. In the winter, when storms can be severe, they move out of their rock pools into the shallows. The common blenny is bold with strong teeth, and will bite humans if it feels threatened.

  • The rock goby
    Rock goby
    The rock goby, Gobius paganellus, is a small coastal fish of eastern Atlantic waters, from Scotland to Senegal. It is also reported from the Mediterranean and Black Seas, and is a Lessepsian migrant in the Gulf of Eilat and Red Sea...

     is a small fish, about 12 cm long, found in northern temperate waters. it is coloured black with white blotches, and hides under stones and amongst seaweed. It is a temporary resident of rock pools when the tide is out. The female rock goby lays eggs on the underside of rocks and shells and then leaves them. The male guards the eggs until they hatch. First year rock gobies often visit rock pools in winter when the older fish have left.

  • The long-spined sea scorpion
    Long-spined Sea Scorpion
    Taurulus bubalis, known as the longspined bullhead or the longspined sea-scorpion, is a coastal fish of the sculpin family Cottidae, inhabiting waters of Northern Europe.-Description:...

    , a small stout fish which grows about 29 cm long, is another temporary resident of rocky pools. They have large black eyes, a large mouth, and four long spines—two on each side on the gill cover—that stick out when the fish is removed from the water. They also have an organ like a finger on each side of their mouth which helps them catch prey. Because of their broad heads, they are also called "bullheads". They have a variety of effective camouflaged colours ranging from shades of browns with cream blotches, to orange and red with white blotches. They can also change their body colour to match their surroundings. They are found around the coasts of Northern Europe in shallow rocky waters hiding amongst seaweed. They are also found in rock pools and sometimes in waters 30 m deep. Long-spined sea scorpions lay eggs amongst seaweed or attached to rock crevices. The young hatch after two or three weeks, and go through several development stages before maturing into adults.

  • Lumpsucker
    Lumpsucker
    Lumpsuckers or lumpfish are mostly small scorpaeniform marine fish of the family Cyclopteridae. They are found in the cold waters of the Arctic, North Atlantic, and North Pacific oceans...

    s are found in temperate northern waters. They live on the seafloor, and are temporary residents of rocky pools in late winter and early spring when they spawn. The body of the lumpsucker is scaleless and covered with small lumps. They have a large sucking disc on their underside which they use to cling to surfaces. They are normally a blue to slate-grey colour, and are effectively camouflaged to look like stones. They are portly, nearly spherical, poor swimmers, reaching lengths up to 50 cm. After the female lumpsucker lays eggs, the male takes over, clamping itself to a rock where it guards the eggs. When they hatch, lumpsuckers look like tiny tadpoles. They remain in shallow water and rock pools, hiding amongst seaweed and rocks, until they grow up.

Estuarine fish




Estuaries are partly enclosed coastal bodies of water with one or more river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

s or stream
Stream
A stream is a body of water with a current, confined within a bed and stream banks. Depending on its locale or certain characteristics, a stream may be referred to as a branch, brook, beck, burn, creek, "crick", gill , kill, lick, rill, river, syke, bayou, rivulet, streamage, wash, run or...

s flowing into them, and with a free connection to the open sea. These brackish water
Brackish water
Brackish water is water that has more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater. It may result from mixing of seawater with fresh water, as in estuaries, or it may occur in brackish fossil aquifers. The word comes from the Middle Dutch root "brak," meaning "salty"...

 habitats form a transition zone between river environments and ocean environments, and ecological succession
Ecological succession
Ecological succession, is the phenomenon or process by which a community progressively transforms itself until a stable community is formed. It is a fundamental concept in ecology, and refers to more or less predictable and orderly changes in the composition or structure of an ecological community...

s can form along the way. Estuaries are subject to both marine influences, such as tides, waves, and the influx of saline water; and riverine influences, such as flows of fresh water and sediment. The inflow of both seawater and freshwater provide high levels of nutrients in both the water column and sediment, making estuaries productive natural habitats.

Fishes that spend time in estuaries (or river mouths) need to be euryhaline
Euryhaline
Euryhaline organisms are able to adapt to a wide range of salinities. An example of a euryhaline fish is the molly which can live in fresh, brackish, or salt water. The European shore crab is an example of a euryhaline invertebrate that can live in salt and brackish water...

 (tolerant to a range of salinities). Estuaries provide an unstable environment for fish, where the salinity changes and the waters are often muddy and turbulent. In warmer climates, estuaries have mangrove
Mangrove
Mangroves are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics – mainly between latitudes N and S...

s around their edges. At times there may be only a few different fish species present in an estuary, but seasonal migrants, including eel
Eel
Eels are an order of fish, which consists of four suborders, 20 families, 111 genera and approximately 800 species. Most eels are predators...

s, salmonids, and some forage fish
Forage fish
Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish, are small fish which are preyed on by larger predators for food. Predators include other larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Typical ocean forage fish feed near the base of the food chain on plankton, often by filter feeding...

 such as herring
Herring
Herring is an oily fish of the genus Clupea, found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring and the Pacific herring may each be divided into subspecies...

s and sprats increase the diversity in the estuary.

River estuaries form important staging points during the migration of anadromous and catadromus
Fish migration
Many types of fish migrate on a regular basis, on time scales ranging from daily to annually or longer, and over distances ranging from a few metres to thousands of kilometres...

 fish species, such as salmon
Salmon
Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout; the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true...

 and eel
Eel
Eels are an order of fish, which consists of four suborders, 20 families, 111 genera and approximately 800 species. Most eels are predators...

s, giving them time to form social groups and to adjust to the changes in salinity. Salmon are anadromous, meaning they live in the sea but ascend rivers to spawn; eels are catadromous, living in rivers and streams, but returning to the sea to breed. Besides the species that migrate through estuaries, there are many other fish that use them as "nursery grounds" for spawning or as places young fish can feed and grow before moving elsewhere. For example, herring
Herring
Herring is an oily fish of the genus Clupea, found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring and the Pacific herring may each be divided into subspecies...

 and plaice
Plaice
Plaice is the common name of four species of flatfishes.Plaice or PLAICE may also refer to:* USS Plaice , a Balao-class submarine* PLAICE, an open source hardware FLASH programmer, memory emulator, and logic analyzer...

 are two commercially important species that use the Thames Estuary for this purpose.

Mangrove swamps are associated brackish water habitats. Many, though not all, mangrove swamps fringe estuaries and lagoons where the salinity changes with each tide. Among the most specialised residents of mangrove forests are mudskippers, fish that forage for food on land, and archer fish, perch-like fish that "spit" at insects and other small animals living in the trees, knocking them into the water where they can be eaten. Like estuaries, mangrove swamps are important breeding grounds for many fish, with species such as snapper
Lutjanidae
Snappers are a family of perciform fish, mainly marine but with some members inhabiting estuaries, feeding in freshwater. Some are important food fish. One of the best known is the red snapper....

s, halfbeak
Halfbeak
The halfbeaks are a geographically widespread and numerically abundant family of epipelagic fish inhabiting warm waters around the world. The family Hemiramphidae is divided into two subfamilies, the primarily marine Hemiramphinae and the freshwater or estuarine Zenarchopterinae...

s, and tarpon
Tarpon
Tarpons are large fish of the genus Megalops. There are two species of Megalops, one native to the Atlantic, and the other to the Indo-Pacific oceans.They are the only members of the family Megalopidae.- Species and habitats :...

 spawning or maturing among them.

Coral reef fish


In tropical waters, coral reef fish live amongst or in close relation to coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

s. Coral reefs form complex ecosystem
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

s with tremendous biodiversity
Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

. Coral reef fish can be particularly colourful and interesting to watch. Hundreds of species can exist in a small area of a healthy reef, many of them hidden or well camouflaged. Reef fish have developed many ingenious specialisations adapted to survival on the reefs. Coral reefs occupy less than one percent of the surface area of the world oceans, yet they provide a home for 25 percent of all marine fish species.

Coral reefs often depend on other habitats in the surrounding area for the supply of nutrients, such as seagrass meadows and mangrove forests. Seagrass and mangroves supply dead plants and animals which are rich in nitrogen and also serve to feed fish and animals from the reef by supplying wood and vegetation. Reefs in turn protect mangroves and seagrass from waves and produce sediment
Sediment
Sediment is naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently transported by the action of fluids such as wind, water, or ice, and/or by the force of gravity acting on the particle itself....

 for the mangroves and seagrass to root in.
Anthias are members of the family Serranidae
Serranidae
Serranidae is a large family of fishes, belonging to the order Perciformes. The family contains about 450 species of serranids in 64 genera, including the sea basses and the groupers...

 (basses
Bass (fish)
Bass is a name shared by many different species of popular gamefish. The term encompasses both freshwater and marine species. All belong to the large order Perciformes, or perch-like fishes, and in fact the word bass comes from Middle English bars, meaning "perch."-Types of basses:*The temperate...

, basslet
Basslet
The basslets are a small family, Grammatidae, of fishes in the order Perciformes. The twelve members are all small fish of the western Atlantic, typically no more than 10 cm in length. Several species are colorful and popular for marine aquaria...

s, grouper
Grouper
Groupers are fish of any of a number of genera in the subfamily Epinephelinae of the family Serranidae, in the order Perciformes.Not all serranids are called groupers; the family also includes the sea basses. The common name grouper is usually given to fish in one of two large genera: Epinephelus...

s) and make up the subfamily Anthiinae. They are widespread in tropical waters. They have been called the "quintessential reef fish
Reef fish
Coral reef fish are fish which live amongst or in close relation to coral reefs. Coral reefs form complex ecosystems with tremendous biodiversity. Among the myriad inhabitants, the fish stand out as particularly colourful and interesting to watch. Hundreds of species can exist in a small area of a...

", and make up a sizeable portion of the colourful fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

es seen swarming in coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

 photography. Anthias are mostly small, peaceful, beautiful and popular as ornamental fish. They are mainly zooplankton
Zooplankton
Zooplankton are heterotrophic plankton. Plankton are organisms drifting in oceans, seas, and bodies of fresh water. The word "zooplankton" is derived from the Greek zoon , meaning "animal", and , meaning "wanderer" or "drifter"...

 feeders. Anthias shoal and school
Shoaling and schooling
In biology, any group of fish that stay together for social reasons are said to be shoaling , and if, in addition, the group is swimming in the same direction in a coordinated manner, they are said to be schooling . In common usage, the terms are sometimes used rather loosely...

 in large numbers, operating more intimate "harems" within the schools. These harems contain a dominant and colourful male, between 2 and 12 females — who operate a hierarchy among themselves — and one or two "subdominant" males, often less brightly coloured and non-territorial. Within the swarm of females, territorial males perform acrobatic U-swim displays and vigorously defend an area of the reef and its associated harem. Anthias are protogynous hermaphrodite
Hermaphrodite
In biology, a hermaphrodite is an organism that has reproductive organs normally associated with both male and female sexes.Many taxonomic groups of animals do not have separate sexes. In these groups, hermaphroditism is a normal condition, enabling a form of sexual reproduction in which both...

s. All anthias are born female; if a dominant male perishes, the largest female of the group will often change into a male to take its place. This may lead to squabbling between the next largest male and the transforming female, whose hormones are now surging with testosterone. This can turn quite vicious in the limited confines of captivity.

Butterflyfish
Butterflyfish
The butterflyfish are a group of conspicuous tropical marine fish of the family Chaetodontidae; the bannerfish and coralfish are also included in this group. Found mostly on the reefs of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, there are approximately 120 species in 10 genera...

 are group of about 120 species belonging to the family Chaetodontidaeof Perchiformes. They include bannerfish and coralfish. They are widespread on coral reefs. Butterflyfish are mostly between 12 and 22 cm (4.7 and 8.7 ) in length. The largest species, the lined butterflyfish
Lined butterflyfish
The Lined Butterflyfish is a butterflyfish , one of the largest species in the genus Chaetodon...

 and saddle butterflyfish
Saddle butterflyfish
The Saddle Butterflyfish, Chaetodon ephippium, is a species of butterflyfish . It is found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans from Sri Lanka and the Cocos-Keeling Islands to the Hawaiian, Marquesan and Tuamoto islands, north to southern Japan, south to Rowley Shoals and New South Wales in...

, grow to 30 centimetres (11.8 in). Many species are brightly coloured and strikingly patterned, though other species are dull in colour. Many have eyespots on their flanks and dark bands across their eyes, not unlike the patterns seen on butterfly
Butterfly
A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly's life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most species are diurnal. Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured...

 wings. Their deep, laterally
Anatomical terms of location
Standard anatomical terms of location are designations employed in science that deal with the anatomy of animals to avoid ambiguities that might otherwise arise. They are not language-specific, and thus require no translation...

 narrow bodies are easily noticed through the profusion of reef life. The conspicuous colouration of butterflyfish may be intended for interspecies communication. Butterflyfish have uninterrupted dorsal fin
Dorsal fin
A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of various unrelated marine and freshwater vertebrates, including most fishes, marine mammals , and the ichthyosaurs...

s with tail fins that may be rounded or truncated, but are never forked. Generally diurnal and frequenting waters of less than 18 metres (59.1 ft) (though some species descend to 180 metres (590.6 ft)), butterflyfish stick to particular home ranges. The coral
Coral
Corals are marine animals in class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria typically living in compact colonies of many identical individual "polyps". The group includes the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.A coral "head" is a colony of...

livores are especially territorial, forming mated pairs and staking claim to a specific coral head. Contrastingly, the zooplankton
Zooplankton
Zooplankton are heterotrophic plankton. Plankton are organisms drifting in oceans, seas, and bodies of fresh water. The word "zooplankton" is derived from the Greek zoon , meaning "animal", and , meaning "wanderer" or "drifter"...

 feeders form large conspecific groups. By night butterflyfish hide in reef crevices and exhibit markedly different colouration. Their colouration also makes butterflyfish popular aquarium
Aquarium
An aquarium is a vivarium consisting of at least one transparent side in which water-dwelling plants or animals are kept. Fishkeepers use aquaria to keep fish, invertebrates, amphibians, marine mammals, turtles, and aquatic plants...

 fish. However, most species feed on coral
Coral
Corals are marine animals in class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria typically living in compact colonies of many identical individual "polyps". The group includes the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.A coral "head" is a colony of...

 polyp
Polyp
A polyp in zoology is one of two forms found in the phylum Cnidaria, the other being the medusa. Polyps are approximately cylindrical in shape and elongated at the axis of the body...

s and sea anemone
Sea anemone
Sea anemones are a group of water-dwelling, predatory animals of the order Actiniaria; they are named after the anemone, a terrestrial flower. Sea anemones are classified in the phylum Cnidaria, class Anthozoa, subclass Zoantharia. Anthozoa often have large polyps that allow for digestion of larger...

s, which can result in problems for the hobby aquarists.
Clownfish
Clownfish
Clownfish or anemonefish are fishes from the subfamily Amphiprioninae in the family Pomacentridae. Twenty-eight species are recognized, one in the genus Premnas, while the remaining are in the genus Amphiprion. In the wild they all form symbiotic mutualisms with sea anemones...

, anemonefish and damselfish
Damselfish
Damselfish comprise the family Pomacentridae except those of the genera Amphiprion and Premnas. They can grow up to long. While most are marine, a few species inhabit the lower stretches of rivers in freshwater. Damselfish usually have bright colors. in tropical coral reefs, and many of those are...

 are among about 360 species classified in the family Pomacentridae
Pomacentridae
Pomacentridae are a family of perciform fish, comprising the damselfishes and clownfishes. They are primarily marine, while a few species inhabit freshwater and brackish environments . They are noted for their hardy constitutions and territoriality...

. Most Pomacentrids are associated with coral reefs in the Indo-West Pacific, with a few species occurring in temperate waters. Some species are native to freshwater or brackish estuarine
Estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

 environments. Most live in shallow water, from 2 to 15 meters (6 to 50 feet), although some species are found below 100 m (330 feet). Most species are specialists, living in specific parts of the reef, such as sandy lagoons, steep reef slopes, or areas exposed to strong wave action. In general, the coral is used as shelter, and many species can only survive in its presence. The bottom-dwelling species are territorial, occupying and defending a portion of the reef, often centred around an area of shelter. By keeping away other species of fish, some pomacentrids encourage the growth of thick mats of algae within their territories, leading to the common name farmerfish. Different species display a wide range of colours, although some are relatively drab. Pomacentrids are omnivorous or herbivorous, feeding off algae, plankton
Plankton
Plankton are any drifting organisms that inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. That is, plankton are defined by their ecological niche rather than phylogenetic or taxonomic classification...

, and small bottom-dwelling crustacean
Crustacean
Crustaceans form a very large group of arthropods, usually treated as a subphylum, which includes such familiar animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill and barnacles. The 50,000 described species range in size from Stygotantulus stocki at , to the Japanese spider crab with a leg span...

s. A small number eat coral.
Goatfish
Goatfish
Goatfishes are tropical marine perciform fish of the family Mullidae. Seldom found in brackish waters, goatfish are most associated with the reefs of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans...

es are a family Mullidae of about 55 species of perciform fishes, associated worldwide with tropical reef
Reef
In nautical terminology, a reef is a rock, sandbar, or other feature lying beneath the surface of the water ....

s. They are typically about 20 cm long, though the dash-and-dot goatfish
Dash-and-dot goatfish
The dash-and-dot goatfish, Parupeneus barberinus, is a goatfish of the family Mullidae.-Description:The dash-and-dot goatfish has the twin chin barbels typical of goatfishes....

, grows to 55 cm. Goatfish are tireless benthic feeders, possess a pair of long chemosensory barbels
Barbel (anatomy)
A barbel on a fish is a slender, whiskerlike tactile organ near the mouth. Fish that have barbels include the catfish, the carp, the goatfish, sturgeon, the zebrafish and some species of shark...

 ("whiskers") protruding from their chins resembling a goat’s beard. They use these to rifle through the sediments in search of a meal. Like goats, they seek anything edible; worm
Worm
The term worm refers to an obsolete taxon used by Carolus Linnaeus and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck for all non-arthropod invertebrate animals, and stems from the Old English word wyrm. Currently it is used to describe many different distantly-related animals that typically have a long cylindrical...

s, crustaceans, molluscs and other small invertebrate
Invertebrate
An invertebrate is an animal without a backbone. The group includes 97% of all animal species – all animals except those in the chordate subphylum Vertebrata .Invertebrates form a paraphyletic group...

s are staples. Many species of goatfish are conspicuously coloured and have the ability to change their colouration depending on their current activity. By day, many form large inactive (non-feeding) schools: these aggregates may contain both conspecifics and heterospecifics. For example, the yellowfin goatfish school with blue-striped snappers. When they do that, the yellowfins changes its colouration to match that of the snapper. By night the schools disperse and individual goatfish head their separate ways to loot the sands. The diurnal goldsaddle goatfish
Goldsaddle goatfish
Also known as the Yellowsaddle goatfish.-Description:May be up to 50cm long, has long barbels; the body is usually yellow with a bluish sheen to the dorsal part but there is a golden yellow variant.-Habitat:...

 changes from a lemon-yellow to a pale cream when feeding. Other nocturnal feeders will shadow the active goatfish, waiting patiently for overlooked morsels. Goatfish stay within the shallows, going no deeper than about 110 metres. Most species do not tolerate brackish water, so they do not enter estuaries
Estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

 or the mouths of river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

s.

Other nearshore fish


Other nearshore or shallow water fish live near the shore in depths of less than 10 metres. They occupy the areas over sandy or rocky bottoms, and can be associated with seagrass meadows and kelp forest
Kelp forest
Kelp forests are underwater areas with a high density of kelp. They are recognized as one of the most productive and dynamic ecosystems on Earth. Smaller areas of anchored kelp are called kelp beds....

s. They can be divided into demersal fish and pelagic fish
Pelagic fish
Pelagic fish live near the surface or in the water column of coastal, ocean and lake waters, but not on the bottom of the sea or the lake. They can be contrasted with demersal fish, which do live on or near the bottom, and reef fish which are associated with coral reefs.The marine pelagic...

. Demersal fish live on or near the sea floor, while pelagic fish live in the water column away the sea floor.

Examples of such shallow water demersal fish, found in both tropical and temperate waters around the world, are triplefins, seahorses, wrasse and flounder. As demersal fish, all these fish spend most of their time on or near the sea floor.
  • Flatfish
    Flatfish
    The flatfish are an order of ray-finned fish, also called the Heterosomata, sometimes classified as a suborder of Perciformes. In many species, both eyes lie on one side of the head, one or the other migrating through and around the head during development...

     are superbly adapted groundfish
    Groundfish
    Groundfish are fish that live on, in, or near the bottom of the body of water they inhabit. Some typical saltwater groundfish species are sole, flounder, and halibut....

    , found on muddy and sandy sea floors. In many species both eyes lie on one side of the head, one or the other migrating through and around the head during development. Some species face their "left" side upward, some face their "right" side upward, and others face either side upward. Some flatfish can camouflage themselves on the ocean floor.

  • Wrasse
    Wrasse
    The wrasses are a family, Labridae, of marine fish, many of which are brightly colored. The family is large and diverse, with over 600 species in 82 genera, which are divided into nine subgroups or tribes....

     are a large family of mainly small fish, usually less than 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long. Most wrasse are loners that prefer habitats such as coral reefs and rocky shores. They live close to the substrate, eating small invertebrates and almost anything else that lurks on the bottom. Many are brightly coloured. They have thick lips and use their sharp teeth to pick small creatures off the rocks. Many smaller wrasses follow the feeding trails of larger fish, picking up invertebrates disturbed by their passing.

  • Triplefins are a family
    Family (biology)
    In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

     of fish. They are usually found around coral reefs and rocks, usually in shallow, clear sunlit waters such as lagoons and seaward reefs. Triplefins have three dorsal fin
    Dorsal fin
    A dorsal fin is a fin located on the backs of various unrelated marine and freshwater vertebrates, including most fishes, marine mammals , and the ichthyosaurs...

    s (hence the name). They are small fish, usually less than six cm long. Brightly coloured, often for reasons of camouflage, they are nervous and retreat to rock crevices at any perceived threat.

  • Seahorse
    Seahorse
    Seahorses compose the fish genus Hippocampus within the family Syngnathidae, in order Syngnathiformes. Syngnathidae also includes the pipefishes. "Hippocampus" comes from the Ancient Greek hippos meaning "horse" and kampos meaning “sea monster”.There are nearly 50 species of seahorse...

    s are a genus
    Genus
    In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

     of fish. They prefer sheltered harbours, estuaries and other shallow coastal waters, where they hunt tiny crustaceans. They bob around in sheltered areas such as coral reef
    Coral reef
    Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

    s, mangrove stands
    Mangrove
    Mangroves are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics – mainly between latitudes N and S...

     and seagrass meadows and estuaries. They are camouflaged with murky patterns that blend into kelp and sea grass backgrounds. During social moments or in unusual surroundings, seahorses can turn on bright colours.

Examples of shallow water pelagic fish, found in both tropical and temperate waters around the world, are grey mullet, sprats and garfish. As pelagic fish, all these fish spend most of their time living in the water column away the sea floor.
  • The grey mullet are medium size fish, typically about 50 cm (20 in) long. They are often caught with set nets.

  • The garfish
    Garfish
    The garfish , or sea needle, is a pelagic, oceanodromous needlefish found in brackish and marine waters of the Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea, etc. The fish lives close to the surface and has a migratory pattern similar to that of the mackerel, arriving a short time before...

     is a long, slender fish, looking like a spear, which feeds on seagrass fragments, shrimps and crab larvae. In turn it is preyed on by larger fish and, since it is often near the surface, cormorant
    Cormorant
    The bird family Phalacrocoracidae is represented by some 40 species of cormorants and shags. Several different classifications of the family have been proposed recently, and the number of genera is disputed.- Names :...

    s and gannet
    Gannet
    Gannets are seabirds comprising the genus Morus, in the family Sulidae, closely related to the boobies.The gannets are large black and white birds with yellow heads. They have long pointed wings and long bills. Northern gannets are the largest seabirds in the North Atlantic, with a wingspan of up...

    s.

Plankton feeding pelagic fish


Plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

s are the base of food chain
Food chain
A food web depicts feeding connections in an ecological community. Ecologists can broadly lump all life forms into one of two categories called trophic levels: 1) the autotrophs, and 2) the heterotrophs...

s, and need sunlight and nutrients if they are to grow. In the ocean these plants are mainly a type of plankton
Plankton
Plankton are any drifting organisms that inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. That is, plankton are defined by their ecological niche rather than phylogenetic or taxonomic classification...

, microscopic phytoplankton
Phytoplankton
Phytoplankton are the autotrophic component of the plankton community. The name comes from the Greek words φυτόν , meaning "plant", and πλαγκτός , meaning "wanderer" or "drifter". Most phytoplankton are too small to be individually seen with the unaided eye...

 which drift in the water column. They need sunlight for photosynthesis
Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis is a chemical process that converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, especially sugars, using the energy from sunlight. Photosynthesis occurs in plants, algae, and many species of bacteria, but not in archaea. Photosynthetic organisms are called photoautotrophs, since they can...

, which powers carbon fixation
Carbon fixation
In biology, carbon fixation is the reduction of carbon dioxide to organic compounds by living organisms. The obvious example is photosynthesis. Carbon fixation requires both a source of energy such as sunlight, and an electron donor such as water. All life depends on fixed carbon. Organisms that...

, so they are found only in the surface waters. But they also need nutrients. Phytoplankton rapidly use any nutrients in the surface water.

The marine food chain starts with the primary producers, the phytoplankton
Phytoplankton
Phytoplankton are the autotrophic component of the plankton community. The name comes from the Greek words φυτόν , meaning "plant", and πλαγκτός , meaning "wanderer" or "drifter". Most phytoplankton are too small to be individually seen with the unaided eye...

. The phytoplankton are eaten by zooplankton
Zooplankton
Zooplankton are heterotrophic plankton. Plankton are organisms drifting in oceans, seas, and bodies of fresh water. The word "zooplankton" is derived from the Greek zoon , meaning "animal", and , meaning "wanderer" or "drifter"...

, which in turn are eaten by predatory zooplankton. Filter feeder
Filter feeder
Filter feeders are animals that feed by straining suspended matter and food particles from water, typically by passing the water over a specialized filtering structure. Some animals that use this method of feeding are clams, krill, sponges, baleen whales, and many fish and some sharks. Some birds,...

s then eat the plankton and larger predatory fish
Predatory fish
Predatory fish are fish that predate upon other fish or animals. Some predatory fish include perch, muskie , pike, walleye, salmon.Levels of large predatory fish in the global oceans are estimated to be about 10% of their pre-industrial levels...

 eat the filter feeders.

Most filter feeding pelagic fish found in coastal waters are small, silvery forage fish
Forage fish
Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish, are small fish which are preyed on by larger predators for food. Predators include other larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Typical ocean forage fish feed near the base of the food chain on plankton, often by filter feeding...

. Forage fish include fishes of the family Clupeidae
Clupeidae
Clupeidae is the family of the herrings, shads, sardines, hilsa and menhadens. It includes many of the most important food fishes in the world.-Description and biology:...

 (herring
Herring
Herring is an oily fish of the genus Clupea, found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring and the Pacific herring may each be divided into subspecies...

s, shad
Shad
The shads or river herrings comprise the genus Alosa, fish related to herring in the family Clupeidae. They are distinct from others in that family by having a deeper body and spawning in rivers. The several species frequent different areas on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea....

, sardine
Sardine
Sardines, or pilchards, are several types of small, oily fish related to herrings, family Clupeidae. Sardines are named after the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, around which they were once abundant....

s and pilchards, hilsa
Hilsa
Ilish , also spelled Elish, is the most popular fish to Bengalis. Its the national fish of Bangladesh and extremely popular in parts of India such as West Bengal, Orissa, Tripura, Assam as well. Ilish also can be found at India's Assamese-, Bengali- Oriya-speaking regions and in Telugu-speaking...

, menhaden
Menhaden
Menhaden, also known as mossbunker, bunker and pogy, are forage fish of the genera Brevoortia and Ethmidium, two genera of marine fish in the family Clupeidae.-Description:...

 and sprats), as well as anchovies, capelin
Capelin
The capelin or caplin, Mallotus villosus, is a small forage fish of the smelt family found in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. In summer, it grazes on dense swarms of plankton at the edge of the ice shelf. Larger capelin also eat a great deal of krill and other crustaceans...

 and halfbeak
Halfbeak
The halfbeaks are a geographically widespread and numerically abundant family of epipelagic fish inhabiting warm waters around the world. The family Hemiramphidae is divided into two subfamilies, the primarily marine Hemiramphinae and the freshwater or estuarine Zenarchopterinae...

s. They use schooling
Shoaling and schooling
In biology, any group of fish that stay together for social reasons are said to be shoaling , and if, in addition, the group is swimming in the same direction in a coordinated manner, they are said to be schooling . In common usage, the terms are sometimes used rather loosely...

 strategies to avoid predators, and different schools of forage fish often associate with each other in open coastal waters. Forage fish feed near the base of the food chain on plankton
Plankton
Plankton are any drifting organisms that inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. That is, plankton are defined by their ecological niche rather than phylogenetic or taxonomic classification...

 and fry (recently hatched fish), often by filter feeding
Filter feeder
Filter feeders are animals that feed by straining suspended matter and food particles from water, typically by passing the water over a specialized filtering structure. Some animals that use this method of feeding are clams, krill, sponges, baleen whales, and many fish and some sharks. Some birds,...

. In turn, they are preyed on by larger predators, such as other larger fish, seabird
Seabird
Seabirds are birds that have adapted to life within the marine environment. While seabirds vary greatly in lifestyle, behaviour and physiology, they often exhibit striking convergent evolution, as the same environmental problems and feeding niches have resulted in similar adaptations...

s and marine mammal
Marine mammal
Marine mammals, which include seals, whales, dolphins, and walruses, form a diverse group of 128 species that rely on the ocean for their existence. They do not represent a distinct biological grouping, but rather are unified by their reliance on the marine environment for feeding. The level of...

s.

Worldwide, there are five major coastal currents associated with upwelling areas: the Canary Current
Canary Current
The Canary Current is a wind-driven surface current that is part of the North Atlantic Gyre. This eastern boundary current branches south from the North Atlantic Current and flows southwest about as far as Senegal where it turns west and later joins the Atlantic North Equatorial Current. The...

 (off Northwest Africa), the Benguela Current
Benguela Current
The Benguela Current is the broad, northward flowing ocean current that forms the eastern portion of the South Atlantic Ocean gyre. The current extends from roughly Cape Point in the south, to the position of the Angola-Benguela Front in the north, at around 16°S. The current is driven by the...

 (off southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

), the California Current
California Current
The California Current is a Pacific Ocean current that moves south along the western coast of North America, beginning off southern British Columbia, and ending off southern Baja California. There are five major coastal currents affiliated with upwelling zones...

 (off California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 and Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

), the Humboldt Current
Humboldt Current
The Humboldt Current , also known as the Peru Current, is a cold, low-salinity ocean current that flows north-westward along the west coast of South America from the southern tip of Chile to northern Peru. It is an eastern boundary current flowing in the direction of the equator, and can extend...

 (off Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 and Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

), and the Somali Current
Somali Current
The Somali Current is an ocean boundary current that runs along the coast of Somalia and Oman in the Western Indian Ocean and is analogous to the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean. This current is heavily influenced by the monsoons and is the only major upwelling system that occurs on a western...

 (off Western India). All of these currents support major fisheries. Many forage fish are important commercial species, and the schools can be targeted by spotter planes. The fish are caught by purse seiners—fishing boats that use nets to enclose the fish—and can be overfished.

Predatory pelagic fish




Predatory pelagic fishes found on continental shelves worldwide in both tropical and temperate waters include porgies, barracuda
Barracuda
The barracuda is a ray-finned fish known for its large size and fearsome appearance. Its body is long, fairly compressed, and covered with small, smooth scales. Some species could reach up to 1.8m in length and 30 cm in width...

, amberjack
Amberjack
Amberjack refers to 3 species of Atlantic fish of the Carangidae family , which includes the jacks and the pompanos.Greater amberjacks, Seriola dumerili, are the largest of the jacks. They usually have dark stripes extending from nose to in front of their dorsal fins...

s and cutlassfish
Cutlassfish
The cutlassfishes are about 40 species of predatory fish in the family Trichiuridae found in seas throughout the world. Fish of this family are long, slender, and generally steely blue or silver in colour, giving rise to their name...

es. They tend to be larger fish, and are carnivorous, feeding on the smaller, silvery forage fish
Forage fish
Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish, are small fish which are preyed on by larger predators for food. Predators include other larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Typical ocean forage fish feed near the base of the food chain on plankton, often by filter feeding...

 that eat plankton (see section above). Some species also feed on crabs and other invertebrates, foraged from the sea floor.
  • Mackerel
    Mackerel
    Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species of fish, mostly, but not exclusively, from the family Scombridae. They may be found in all tropical and temperate seas. Most live offshore in the oceanic environment but a few, like the Spanish mackerel , enter bays and can be...

     scom*

  • Porgies sometimes called sea breams, are any of about 100 species belonging to the family Sparidae. Porgies usually have high backs and a single dorsal fin, like snapper
    Australasian snapper
    The Australasian snapper or Pagrus auratus is a species of porgie found in coastal waters of New Zealand and Australia. Although it is almost universally known in these countries as snapper it does not belong to the Lutjanidae family...

     or grunt fishes (grunts are named for the sound they make grinding their teeth). They are bottom feeding pelagic fishes, with small mouths equipped with strong teeth adapted for handling small fishes and invertebrates with hard shells. Most do not exceed a size of about 30 cm (12 in), but some may grow to four times that length. They often school, and will migrate between reefs. Larger fish enter estuaries and harbours.

  • Barracuda
    Barracuda
    The barracuda is a ray-finned fish known for its large size and fearsome appearance. Its body is long, fairly compressed, and covered with small, smooth scales. Some species could reach up to 1.8m in length and 30 cm in width...

     have long slender bodies typically about 50 cm (20 in) long. They have a wicked set of teeth and are ferocious predators. They feed on crustaceans, cephalopods and small fish like anchovy
    Anchovy
    Anchovies are a family of small, common salt-water forage fish. There are 144 species in 17 genera, found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Anchovies are usually classified as an oily fish.-Description:...

     and pilchard. Barracouta often hunt in schools near the bottom or midwater, and sometimes even near the surface at night.


  • Cutlassfish
    Cutlassfish
    The cutlassfishes are about 40 species of predatory fish in the family Trichiuridae found in seas throughout the world. Fish of this family are long, slender, and generally steely blue or silver in colour, giving rise to their name...

    es are a group of about 40 species belonging to the family Trichiuridae. They are ocean fish which regularly stray into coastal waters around the world. Fish of this family are long, slender, and generally steely blue or silver in colour, giving rise to their name. They have reduced or absent pelvic and caudal fins, giving them an eel
    Eel
    Eels are an order of fish, which consists of four suborders, 20 families, 111 genera and approximately 800 species. Most eels are predators...

    -like appearance, and large fang-like teeth.

  • Jacks
    Carangidae
    Carangidae is a family of fish which includes the jacks, pompanos, jack mackerels, and scads.They are marine fish found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans...

    , amberjack
    Amberjack
    Amberjack refers to 3 species of Atlantic fish of the Carangidae family , which includes the jacks and the pompanos.Greater amberjacks, Seriola dumerili, are the largest of the jacks. They usually have dark stripes extending from nose to in front of their dorsal fins...

    s, pompano
    Pompano
    Pompanos are marine fishes in the Trachinotus genus of the Carangidae family . Pompano may also refer to various other, similarly shaped members of Carangidae, or the order Perciformes. Their appearance is deep bodied and mackerel-like, typically silver and toothless with a forked tail and...

    s, horse mackerel
    Horse mackerel
    A horse mackerel is a large fish, such as the tuna, and the scad or saurel of the Pacific coast:*Australian bonito *various Jack mackerels*Pilot fish...

    , scads
    Carangidae
    Carangidae is a family of fish which includes the jacks, pompanos, jack mackerels, and scads.They are marine fish found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans...

    , leatherjacket
    Leatherjacket
    Leatherjacket may refer to:* Leatherjacket fish, a species of fish* Filefish, a family of fish* Crane fly, in larval stage...

    s and trevally are fish of the family Carangidae
    Carangidae
    Carangidae is a family of fish which includes the jacks, pompanos, jack mackerels, and scads.They are marine fish found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans...

    . Found in most coastal waters, they are fast predatory fishes that hunt in the waters above reef
    Reef
    In nautical terminology, a reef is a rock, sandbar, or other feature lying beneath the surface of the water ....

    s and in the open sea; some dig in the sea floor for invertebrates (some can also filter feed, such as the white trevally
    White trevally
    White trevally, Pseudocaranx dentex, is a jack of the family Carangidae widespread in tropical and warm temperate areas between 40°N and 47°S, in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Indian and Pacific Oceans. It has a deep body, and a greenish colour with metallic overtones and a dark spot above the...

    ). The largest fish in the family, the giant trevally
    Giant trevally
    The giant trevally, Caranx ignobilis , is a species of large marine fish classified in the jack family, Carangidae...

    , grows up to 1.7 m in length; most fish in the family reach a maximum length of 25–100 cm. The family contains many important commercial and game fish, notably the Pacific jack mackerel
    Pacific jack mackerel
    The Pacific jack mackerel,Trachurus symmetricus , is an abundant species of pelagic marine fish in the jack family, Carangidae...

     and the other jack mackerels in the genus Trachurus
    Trachurus
    Jack mackerels are marine fishes in the Trachurus genus of the Carangidae family. The type species of the genus is the Atlantic horse mackerel, Trachurus trachurus. The name of the genus is derived from the Greek word trachys, meaning "rough", and the Greek word oura, meaning "tail"...

    . The type species
    Type species
    In biological nomenclature, a type species is both a concept and a practical system which is used in the classification and nomenclature of animals and plants. The value of a "type species" lies in the fact that it makes clear what is meant by a particular genus name. A type species is the species...

     of this genus is the Atlantic horse mackerel
    Atlantic horse mackerel
    The Atlantic horse mackerel, Trachurus trachurus is a species of mackerel in the family Carangidae. It gets its common name from the legend that other smaller species of fish could ride on the back of it over great distances...

    . Jack mackerels are an important inshore commercial species.

  • Amberjack
    Amberjack
    Amberjack refers to 3 species of Atlantic fish of the Carangidae family , which includes the jacks and the pompanos.Greater amberjacks, Seriola dumerili, are the largest of the jacks. They usually have dark stripes extending from nose to in front of their dorsal fins...

    s are a group of nine species belonging to the genus Seriola within the family Carangidae. Mainly open water fish, they can follow small forage fish
    Forage fish
    Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish, are small fish which are preyed on by larger predators for food. Predators include other larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Typical ocean forage fish feed near the base of the food chain on plankton, often by filter feeding...

     into estuaries and enclosed waters, where they will also hunt for crustaceans. Amberjacks are fast swimming and aggressive predators that often hunt in schools around offshore reefs. the yellowtail amberjack
    Yellowtail amberjack
    The yellowtail amberjack or great amberjack, Seriola lalandi, is a large fish found in the Pacific and Indian oceans. It can be divided into three sub-species: The California yellowtail, Seriola lalandi dorsalis, the southern yellowtail, or in New Zealand and Australia the yellowtail kingfish or...

     can reach 1.8 metres in length and weigh 60 kilograms.

Demersal fish




Fish that live on or in close association with the sea floor are called demersal fish. This section discusses the coastal demersal fish that live on the continental shelf, but are living further from the coast and in deeper water than the nearshore fish discussed above.

Demersal fish are white fish
Whitefish (fisheries term)
Whitefish or white fish is a fisheries term referring to several species of demersal fish with fins, particularly cod , whiting , and haddock , but also hake , pollock , or others...

. Unlike oily fish
Oily fish
Oily fish have oil in their tissues and in the belly cavity around the gut. Their fillets contain up to 30 percent oil, although this figure varies both within and between species...

, white fish contain oils
Fish oil
Fish oil is oil derived from the tissues of oily fish. Fish oils contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid , and docosahexaenoic acid , precursors of certain eicosanoids that are known to reduce inflammation throughout the body, and are thought to have many health benefits.Fish do not...

 only in their liver
Liver
The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion...

, rather than in the gut
Gut (zoology)
In zoology, the gut, also known as the alimentary canal or alimentary tract, is a tube by which bilaterian animals transfer food to the digestion organs. In large bilaterians the gut generally also has an exit, the anus, by which the animal disposes of solid wastes...

, and can therefore be gutted as soon as they are caught, on board the ship. White fish has dry and white flesh. They can be divided into benthopelagic fish (mostly "round" fish) which live near the sea bed, such as cod
Cod
Cod is the common name for genus Gadus, belonging to the family Gadidae, and is also used in the common name for various other fishes. Cod is a popular food with a mild flavor, low fat content and a dense, flaky white flesh. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of...

, and benthic fish (flatfish
Flatfish
The flatfish are an order of ray-finned fish, also called the Heterosomata, sometimes classified as a suborder of Perciformes. In many species, both eyes lie on one side of the head, one or the other migrating through and around the head during development...

) such as plaice
Plaice
Plaice is the common name of four species of flatfishes.Plaice or PLAICE may also refer to:* USS Plaice , a Balao-class submarine* PLAICE, an open source hardware FLASH programmer, memory emulator, and logic analyzer...

 which live on the sea bed. Benthic fish tend to be "flat", so they can lie on the bottom.
  • Cod
    Cod
    Cod is the common name for genus Gadus, belonging to the family Gadidae, and is also used in the common name for various other fishes. Cod is a popular food with a mild flavor, low fat content and a dense, flaky white flesh. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of...

    -like fishes are a number of round benthopelagic species belonging to the order Gadiformes
    Gadiformes
    Gadiformes is an order of ray-finned fish, also called the Anacanthini, that includes the cod and its allies. Many major food fish are in this order. They are found in marine waters throughout the world, and there are also a small number of freshwater species.Common characteristics include the...

    , such as Atlantic
    Atlantic cod
    The Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, is a well-known demersal food fish belonging to the family Gadidae. It is also commercially known as cod, codling or haberdine....

     and Pacific cod
    Pacific Cod
    The Pacific cod, Gadus macrocephalus, is an important commercial food species. It is also known as gray cod, gray goo, gray wolf, grayest or grayfish. It has three separate dorsal fins, and the catfish-like whiskers on its lower jaw. In appearance, it is similar to the Atlantic Cod...

    , morid cod, haddock
    Haddock
    The haddock , also known as the offshore hake, is a marine fish distributed on both sides of the North Atlantic. Haddock is a popular food fish and is widely fished commercially....

     and pollock
    Pollock
    Pollock is the common name used for either of the two species of marine fish in the Pollachius genus. Both P. pollachius and P. virens are commonly referred to as pollock. Other names for P...

    , including the highly commercial Alaska pollock
    Alaska pollock
    Alaska pollock or walleye pollock is a North Pacific species of the cod family Gadidae. While related to the common Atlantic pollock species of the same family, the Alaska pollock is not a member of the same Pollachius genus.The Norwegian pollock , a rare fish of Norwegian waters, may actually be...

    . Cod-like fishes are often found in large schools over sandy or muddy bottoms. They have a barbel (fleshy filament) on their lower jaw which they use to detect prey buried in the sand or mud. Some migrate to warm water in winter to spawn.

  • John dory
    John Dory
    John Dory, also known as St Pierre or Peter's Fish, refers to fish of the genus Zeus, especially Zeus faber, of widespread distribution. It is an edible benthic coastal marine fish with a laterally compressed olive-yellow body which has a large dark spot, and long spines on the dorsal fin...

     are fishes of the genus Zeus. They have a widespread distribution and are typically found near the seabed in depths from 5 meters (15 ft). The John dory grows to a maximum length of 65 cm (2 ft). Although it is a benthopelagic fish, its body is flat and it can hardly be seen from the front because it is so thin. It is a poor swimmer with long spines on the dorsal fin. It has a large dark eyespot
    Eyespot (mimicry)
    An eyespot is an eye-like marking. They are found on butterflies, reptiles, birds and fish. In members of the Felidae family , the white circular markings on the backs of the ears are termed ocelli, and they are functionally similar to eyespots in other animals.Eyespots may be a form of...

     on the side of its body which is used to confuse prey, which are scooped up in its big mouth. Large eyes at the front of the head provide it with bifocal vision and depth perception, which are important for predators. The John Dory usually gets its food by stalking it then shooting out a tube in its mouth to capture its prey. It eats forage fish, and occasionally squid
    Squid
    Squid are cephalopods of the order Teuthida, which comprises around 300 species. Like all other cephalopods, squid have a distinct head, bilateral symmetry, a mantle, and arms. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles...

     and cuttlefish
    Cuttlefish
    Cuttlefish are marine animals of the order Sepiida. They belong to the class Cephalopoda . Despite their name, cuttlefish are not fish but molluscs....

    . In turn, they are preyed on by sharks, like the dusky shark
    Dusky shark
    The dusky shark is a species of requiem shark, family Carcharhinidae, occurring in tropical and warm-temperate continental seas worldwide. A generalist apex predator, the dusky shark can be found from the coast to the outer continental shelf and adjacent pelagic waters, and has been recorded from...

    , and other large bony fish. They are normally solitary.

  • Turbot
    Turbot
    The turbot is a species of flatfish in the family Scophthalmidae. It is native to marine or brackish waters of the North Atlantic, Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.-Etymology:...

     and brill
    Brill (fish)
    The brill, Scophthalmus rhombus, is a species of flatfish in the turbot family of the order Pleuronectiformes. Brill can be found in the North Atlantic, Baltic Sea, and Mediterranean, primarily in deeper offshore waters....

     are benthic flatfish, resembling flounder and sole, but found in deeper offshore waters on the continental shelf. They are brownish-green, with dark blotches on the turbot and mottling on the brill. They are fished by coastal trawlers.

  • Mail-cheeked fishes
    Scorpaeniformes
    Scorpaeniformes is an order of ray-finned fish, but it has also been called the Scleroparei.They are known as "mail-cheeked" fishes due to their distinguishing characteristic, the suborbital stay: a backwards extension of the third circumorbital bone across the cheek to the preoperculum, to which...

     belong to a group of about 30 species in the order Scorpaeniformes. Mail-cheeked fishes are named after a plate of bone that runs across each cheek. They are widespread in all the oceans of the world. Mail-cheeked fishes are carnivorous
    Carnivore
    A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of animal tissue, whether through predation or scavenging...

    , mostly feeding on crustaceans, such as crabs and shrimp, and on smaller fish. Most species live on the sea bottom in relatively shallow waters, although species are known from mid and deep water, from the mid-water, and even from fresh water. They typically have spiny heads, and rounded pectoral and caudal fins. Most species are less than 30 centimetres (11.8 in) in length, but the full size range of the order varies from the velvetfish
    Velvetfish
    Little velvetfishes or simply velvetfishes are a family, the Aploactinidae, of scorpaeniform fishes.As the name implies, they are small fish that have skin with a velvet texture. They are generally flattened in shape, with small pelvic fins, and a fleshy pad under the head, which, in at least one...

    es, which can be just 2 centimetre (0.78740157480315 in) long as adults, to the Lingcod
    Lingcod
    The lingcod, Ophiodon elongatus, is a fish of the greenling family Hexagrammidae. It is the only extant member of the genus Ophiodon...

    , which can reach 150 centimetres (4.9 ft) in length.

  • Red gurnard are mail-cheeked fish. They use their large pectoral fins to rest on the bottom and to detect food.


Stargazers are about 50 species of fishes, belonging to the family Uranoscopidae, and found worldwide in shallow waters. Stargazers are venomous; they have two large poison
Poison
In the context of biology, poisons are substances that can cause disturbances to organisms, usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when a sufficient quantity is absorbed by an organism....

 spines situated behind the opercle and above the pectoral fins. They can also deliver electric shock
Electric shock
Electric Shock of a body with any source of electricity that causes a sufficient current through the skin, muscles or hair. Typically, the expression is used to denote an unwanted exposure to electricity, hence the effects are considered undesirable....

s. They are ambush predator
Ambush predator
Ambush predators or sit-and-wait predators are carnivorous animals that capture prey by stealth or cunning, not by speed or necessarily by strength. These organisms usually hide motionless and wait for prey to come within striking distance. They are often camouflaged, and may be solitary...

s with eyes on top of their heads (thus the name). Stargazers also have a large upward-facing mouth in a large head. They bury themselves in sand with only their eyes showing, and leap upwards to ambush fish and invertebrates overhead. Some species have a worm-shaped lure growing out of the floor of the mouth, which they wiggle to attract prey's attention. Lengths range from 18 cm
Centimetre
A centimetre is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one hundredth of a metre, which is the SI base unit of length. Centi is the SI prefix for a factor of . Hence a centimetre can be written as or — meaning or respectively...

 up to 90 cm, for the giant stargazer
Giant stargazer
The giant stargazer, Kathetostoma giganteum, is a stargazer of the family Uranoscopidae, found on the continental shelf around New Zealand.-References:...

 Kathetostoma giganteum. Stargazers are a delicacy in some cultures. The venom is destroyed when it is cooked, and stargazers are sold in some fish market
Fish market
A fish market is a marketplace used for marketing fish products. It can be dedicated to wholesale trade between fishermen and fish merchants, or to the sale of seafood to individual consumers, or to both...

s with their electric organ removed. They have been called "the meanest things in creation" and the "worst pet on earth".
  • Sandperch
    Sandperch
    The sandperches are a family, Pinguipedidae, of fishes in the order Perciformes.-Species:There are 65 species in seven genera:* Genus Kochichthys Kamohara, 1961** Kochichthys flavofasciata ....

    es are a family, Pinguipedidae, containing 63 species of fishes in the order Perciformes
    Perciformes
    The Perciformes, also called the Percomorphi or Acanthopteri, is one of the largest orders of vertebrates, containing about 40% of all bony fish. Perciformes means perch-like. They belong to the class of ray-finned fish and comprise over 7,000 species found in almost all aquatic environments...

    . They are benthic carnivoures, feeding on small fish and invertebrates. Examples are the redbanded weever
    Redbanded weever
    The redbanded weever, Parapercis binivirgata, is a sandperch of the family Pinguipedidae found around Australia and New Zealand at depths of between 50 and 150 m. Its length is up to 20 cm.-References:...

    , yellow weaver
    Yellow weaver
    The yellow weaver, Parapercis gilliesii, is a sandperch of the genus Parapercis found only around New Zealand.-References:* Tony Ayling & Geoffrey Cox, Collins Guide to the Sea Fishes of New Zealand, ISBN 978-0-00-216987-5...

     and blue cod
    Blue cod
    Blue cod, Parapercis colias, is a temperate marine fish of the family Pinguipedidae. It is also known variously as Boston blue cod, New Zealand cod, sand perch or its Māori names rawaru and pakirikiri....

    . They are often caught in pots like crayfish.

  • Medusa fishes are a family Centrolophidae of 31 species of perciform fishes. They are found in temperate and tropical waters throughout the world, usually feeding on fish, crustaceans and small squid near rough sea floors on continental shelf and slope. Examples are barrelfish
    Barrelfish
    Barrelfish is an experimental computer operating system built by ETH Zurich with the assistance of Microsoft Research in Cambridge. It is an experimental operating system designed from the ground up for scalability for computers built with multi-core processors with the goal of reducing the...

    , southern driftfish
    Southern driftfish
    The southern driftfish or ragfish, Icichthys australis, is a medusafish of the genus Icichthys found around the world in all southern oceans between latitudes 50° S and 60° S, from the surface down to 2,000 m...

    , imperial blackfish
    Imperial blackfish
    The imperial blackfish, Schedophilus ovalis, is a medusafish of the family Centrolophidae found in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea, at depths of between 70 and 700 m. Its length is up to 100 cm....

    , the Japanese
    Japanese butterfish
    The Japanese butterfish is a marine fish also known by such names as Melon Seed, Wart Perch, Ibodai or simply as Butterfish....

     and pelagic butterfish
    Pelagic butterfish
    The pelagic butterfish, Schedophilus maculatus, is a medusafish of the genus Schedophilus found in all warm oceans. Its length is up to about 30 cm.-References:...

    , the New Zealand
    New Zealand ruffe
    The New Zealand ruffe, Schedophilus huttoni, is a medusafish of the family Centrolophidae found in all southern oceans south of latitude 18°S, at depths of up to 1,000 m. Its length is up to 90 cm....

     and Tasmanian ruffe
    Tasmanian ruffe
    The Tasmanian ruffe, Tubbia tasmanica, the only member of the genus Tubbia, is a medusafish of the family Centrolophidae, found in temperate waters in the Indian and southwest Pacific Oceans, at depths of between 700 and 850 m. Its length is up to 67 cm....

    , and the common
    Common warehou
    The common warehou, Seriolella brama, is a medusafish of the family Centrolophidae found off southern Australia and around New Zealand, at depths of between 50 and 400 m...

    , silver
    Silver warehou
    The silver warehou, Seriolella punctata, is a medusafish of the family Centrolophidae found in the southern Indian and southern Pacific oceans, at depths of between 100 and 650 m...

     and white warehou
    White warehou
    The white warehou, Seriolella caerulea, is a medusafish of the family Centrolophidae found in the southern Pacific and southern Atlantic oceans, at depths of between 500 and 800 m...

    . The young of some species associate with jellyfish
    Jellyfish
    Jellyfish are free-swimming members of the phylum Cnidaria. Medusa is another word for jellyfish, and refers to any free-swimming jellyfish stages in the phylum Cnidaria...

    , which provides them with protection from predators and opportunities to scavenge the remains of the jellyfish's meals. The young of other species associate with large masses of floating kelp.

  • Grouper
    Grouper
    Groupers are fish of any of a number of genera in the subfamily Epinephelinae of the family Serranidae, in the order Perciformes.Not all serranids are called groupers; the family also includes the sea basses. The common name grouper is usually given to fish in one of two large genera: Epinephelus...

     are fish belonging to a number of genera
    Genus
    In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

     in the subfamily Epinephelinae of the family Serranidae
    Serranidae
    Serranidae is a large family of fishes, belonging to the order Perciformes. The family contains about 450 species of serranids in 64 genera, including the sea basses and the groupers...

    , in the order Perciformes. Species of grouper include the black
    Black grouper
    The black grouper is one of the best known of the large group of Perciform fish called groupers.-Description:The black grouper is a large marine fish, growing up to 150 centimetres in length and 100 kilograms in weight. It has an olive or gray body, with black blotches and brassy spots...

    , comet
    Comet grouper
    The comet grouper or blue grouper is a deep water fish found from the Red Sea and eastern Africa to the central Pacific Ocean. It is found near coral reefs at depths from 80 to 370 m and is non-migratory. It is sometimes confused with its relatives E. poecilonotus, E. radiatus, and E. tuamotoensis...

    , gag
    Gag grouper
    The gag grouper is a drab, mottled gray fish lacking the distinguishing features of other groupers. It has a pattern of markings which resemble the box-shaped spots of the black grouper. It lacks the streamer-points on the tail fin that scamp and yellowmouth grouper The gag grouper (Mycteroperca...

    , giant
    Giant grouper
    The giant grouper , also known as the brindle bass, brown spotted cod, or bumblebee grouper and as the Queensland groper in Australia, is the largest bony fish found in coral reefs, and the aquatic emblem of Queensland, Australia. It is found throughout the Indo-Pacific region, with the exception...

    , Goliath
    Goliath grouper
    The Atlantic goliath grouper or itajara , commonly known as the Jewfish is a large saltwater fish of the grouper family found primarily in shallow tropical waters among coral and artificial reefs at depths anywhere from 15 to 165 feet...

    , Nassau
    Nassau grouper
    The Nassau grouper is one of the large number of Perciform fish in the family Serranidae that are commonly referred to as groupers. It is the most important of the groupers for commercial fishery in the West Indies but has been endangered by overfishing.The Nassau grouper is a U.S. National Marine...

    , saddletail
    Saddletail grouper
    Epinephelus daemelii, known as black cod or black rock-cod in Australia, and as saddle-tailed grouper or spotted black groper in New Zealand, is a large marine fish of the family Serranidae. Black cod is found off the coastline of south-eastern Australia and northern New Zealand, generally...

    , tiger
    Tiger grouper
    The tiger grouper is a species of fish in the Serranidae family. The grouper has a tapered body, often reddish, with vertical stripes on its sites. Young individuals have a yellow colour. This fish lives in sheltered reef areas...

    , Warsaw, white
    White grouper
    The white grouper is a species of grouper living in the subtropical eastern Atlantic Ocean and the southern Mediterranean Sea...

     and yellowfin grouper
    Yellowfin grouper
    The yellowfin grouper is a coral reef fish native to the western Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. It is generally a denizen of the deeper reef areas but it may venture into shallower waters, especially during the cooler seasons.The fish is variable in color but is usually similar in...

    . Typical lengths are 80–120 centimetres. They inhabit depths from reefs near the surface down to over 400 metres. They feed on just about any moving animal they encounter. Groper are important inshore commercial fish, usually caught with gill nets (in earlier times longlines were used).

  • Wreckfish
    Wreckfish
    The wreckfish are a family, Polyprionide, of perciform fishes.They are deep-water marine fishes and can be found on the ocean bottom, where they inhabit caves and shipwrecks . Their scientific name is from Greek poly meaning "many" and prion meaning "saw", a references to their prominent spiny fins...

     are a family Polyprionidae of perciform fishes, found on the floor of the continental shelf and slope where they inhabit caves and shipwrecks (thus their common name). The Atlantic wreckfish
    Atlantic wreckfish
    The Atlantic wreckfish, Polyprion americanus, is a marine, bathydemersal, and oceanodromous fish in the family Polyprionidae. It is found in the Eastern and Western Atlantic Ocean, Western Indian Ocean, and in the Southwest Pacific Ocean...

     is at depths between 40 and 600 m (130 to 2,000 ft). They are largely a solitary fish, though juveniles school below floating objects. Their diet includes large ocean cephalopods, crustaceans, and other bottom-dwelling fishes.

See also


  • Coral reef fish
  • Demersal fish
  • Forage fish
    Forage fish
    Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish, are small fish which are preyed on by larger predators for food. Predators include other larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Typical ocean forage fish feed near the base of the food chain on plankton, often by filter feeding...

  • Marine habitats
    Marine habitats
    This article is about the habitats that support marine life. Marine life depends in some way on the saltwater that is in the sea . A habitat is an ecological or environmental area inhabited by one or more living species.Marine habitats can be divided into coastal and open ocean habitats...

  • Moorish idol
    Moorish Idol
    The moorish idol, Zanclus cornutus , is a small marine fish species, the sole extant representative of the family Zanclidae in order Perciform. A common inhabitant of tropical to subtropical reefs and lagoons, the moorish idol is notable for its wide distribution throughout the Indo-Pacific...

  • Monkfish
    Monkfish
    Monkfish is the English name of a number of types of fish in the northwest Atlantic, most notably the species of the anglerfish genus Lophius and the angelshark genus Squatina...

  • Pelagic fish
    Pelagic fish
    Pelagic fish live near the surface or in the water column of coastal, ocean and lake waters, but not on the bottom of the sea or the lake. They can be contrasted with demersal fish, which do live on or near the bottom, and reef fish which are associated with coral reefs.The marine pelagic...

  • Shoaling and schooling
    Shoaling and schooling
    In biology, any group of fish that stay together for social reasons are said to be shoaling , and if, in addition, the group is swimming in the same direction in a coordinated manner, they are said to be schooling . In common usage, the terms are sometimes used rather loosely...

  • Weever
    Weever
    Weevers are nine species of fish of family Trachinidae, order Perciformes. They are long , mainly brown and have poisonous spines on their first dorsal fin and gills. During the day, weevers bury themselves in sand, just showing their eyes, and snatch prey as it comes past, which consists of...



External links