The wonderful world of fish
Our oceans are ruled by a group of animals that rarely comes to mind when we think about ocean wonders. It‘s not the whales, turtles or dolphins that are dominating the big blue – it‘s fish. Fish have adapted to all kinds of habitats and can be found in every single part of our oceans, from colourful coral reefs to the desert of the open ocean up to the deepest waters in over 8 kilometers depth. They do not only come in all shapes and colours, they also have an unbelievable variety of characters and skills.
The crocodile fish has infinite patience, lurking for prey on the seabed whereas the swordfish is a restless traveler, migrating thousands of kilometres through the open ocean with swimming speeds of up to 90 km/h. The white-spotted pufferfish is a Japanese artist, creating wonderful mandalas in the sand to attract his beloved‘s attention. Male clownfish are caring for their eggs tirelessly, cleaning and ventilating them until the offspring hatch after ten days time. The icefish lives in the crystal clear waters of Antarctica, that can get as cold as -2°C, protecting itself with antifreeze protein in its blood. And in the deep sea lives the barreleye, a fish with a transparent head so that it can actually see prey in the water above through its skull.
In our encyclopedia of fish you can find out more about the biology and skills of 20 of Europe's most important fish species and also how their stocks are impacted by overfishing. Click here to read through the whole encyclopedia or get a first impression right here:
Atlantic cod spend most of their life time near the seafloor, where they feed on smaller fishes, lobsters and other invertebrates. The females release hundreds of million eggs during their life, although only few of these survive to adulthood. Atlantic cod has been fished heavily for a very long time and in the late 1990s the fisheries collapsed. The species has struggled to rebound since then.
The Redfish is also often called rose fish or ocean perch. The adults lives in the North Atlantic Ocean at depths up to 1000 meters. Redfish reproduce late and grow rather slowly - therefore they can live up to 75 years. They are very important commercial rockfish and are caught by trawling or bottom trawling. For the last 20 years redfish populations have been severely overfished and their chances of recovery a slim, due to their life history.
European eels have a very unusual and fascinating life cycle: they spawn in the Sargasso Sea, but then migrate to the European coast and into the rivers, where they grow up and are then returning to the sea to spawn 20 to 30 years later. The population of the european eel is in a catastrophic state, with the IUCN listing the species as "critically endangered". Pollution, overfishing, dam building and other threats have driven the european eel to the brink of extinction.
Learn more fun facts about your favorite ocean fishes by clicking through our encyclopedia of fish.