Temporal Variation of Fish Assemblages in Different Shallow-water Habitats in Erdek Bay, Marmara Sea, Turkey
Istanbul University, Faculty of Fisheries, Department of Marine Biology, Ordu St. No: 200, 34470 Laleli, Istanbul, TURKEY
The aim of this study was to invertigate the nearshore fish assemblages in seagrass meadows (Cymodocea nodosa and Zostera marina) and sandy habitat in Erdek Bay (Marmara Sea, Turkey). A total of 24,488 individuals (61 species; 28 families) was recorded. In seagrass meadows, we observed 17,212 (51 species; 28 families) specimens and in sandy habitat 7,276 specimens (45 species; 23 families). Atherina boyeri was the most dominant species. Juveniles or sub-adults represented 48 % of all individuals. The results showed that nearshore shallow waters (0-2 m) of Erdek Bay were used as a nursery area by juveniles. In this place, the abundance of economically interesting species has declined. Erdek Bay should be evaluated for protection, and the current fishery regulation should be revised to sustain the fishery.
Keywords: Fish, seagrass meadows, sandy areas, seasonal variation, nursery areas