The fish assemblage on a coralligenous shallow shelf off the Mediterranean coast of northern Israel

E. Spanier, S. Pisanty, M. Tom, G. Almog‐Shtayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fish assemblage on the shallow coralligenous shelf (16‐30m depth) off Haifa, Israel was sampled using trammel nets throughout a period of 1 year. Complementary data were obtained via underwater censuses of fish on an artificial reef established later in the sampling area. Fortythree species of fish were sampled by trammel nets, 79% of which were observed also during the underwater censuses. Although fish of Red Sea origin constituted only 11.6% of the species composition in the net samples, they contributed 46.2% of the fish abundance and 40.6% of the biomass in these samples. This was supported by the finding that species of Red Sea origin contributed 64% of the abundance of large fish counted on the artificial reef. Siganus luridas, S. rivulatus and Sargocentron rubrum are the main contributors in number and biomass among fish of Red Sea origin. It is suggested that the biogenic rocky bottom of this area contains several components which are similar to biogenic habitats favoured by these benthic species in the Red Sea; this may explain the high abundance of these species in the studied area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-649
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1989


  • Continental shelf
  • Fish assemblage
  • Lessepsian migrants
  • biogenic benthic habitat
  • fish abundance
  • south‐eastern Mediterranean
  • species composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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