Migrations of various fish species between Asian and American waters in the North Pacific Ocean

Alexei M. Orlov

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 109-124, Volume 8, Issue 3 – June 2004


Until now, the continental slope of the Bering Sea was considered to be the only route by which typical American fishes or their pelagic eggs or larvae could reach Asian coasts. These include Pacific halibut Hippoglossus stenolepis, shortraker rockfish Sebastes borealis, arrowtooth flounder Atheresthes stomias, rex sole Glyptocephalus zachirus and sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria. Recent studies have shown that exchange between Asian and American fish populations takes place along the Kuril and Aleutian Islands. Due to recent climatic changes, some species have extended their ranges from the Aleutians to the Kuril Islands and as far as south-eastern Kamchatka (northern rockfish Sebastes polyspinis, dusky rockfish Sebastes ciliatus, arrowtooth flounder, and rex sole). Some species from the Aleutian Islands, described earlier, were recently found to be abundant or common in the Pacific waters off the Kuril Islands. These included blacktip snailfish Careproctus zachirus, longfin Irish lord Hemilepidotus zapus, scaled sculpin Archaulus biseriatus, sponge sculpin Thyriscus anoplus, and roughskin sculpin Rastrinus scutiger. In Aleutian waters these species are very rare and mostly represented by small, immature specimens, whereas adults are very common off the Kurils. It is suggested that the pelagic eggs or larvae of these species may be carried by the waters of the Western Pacific Gyre from the Kuril Islands to the Aleutians.

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