First record of six marine fish species caught occasionally in the northern Arabian Sea in Pakistan

  • Wajiha Shaikh
  • Sher Panhwar
Keywords: New, records, distribution, range, rare, fishes, Pakistan


Abstract. The present article presents the results of a recent
independent fishery survey conducted in the northern Arabian Sea off the coast of Pakistan in 2016–2018. The survey
confirmed the underreported occurrence of six fish species
that are now included in the ichthyofauna diversity of Pakistan: Ambassis natalensis, Pomadasys striatus, Narcine
oculifera, Paramonacanthus choirocephalus, Paramonacanthus tricuspis, Chromis westaustralis. The fishes were collected with demersal trawls operated at the depth of 165 m
(90 fathoms), and the taxonomy, habitat, and distribution
range of each of the species were carefully examined and verified with information available in Eschmyer’s fish catalog,
Fishbase, WoRMS, and FAO. It is necessary to update the marine ichthyofauna record of Pakistan with the detailed taxonomic descriptions of each species and their distribution
Pakistan is a subtropical region with a variety of
coastal, estuarine, and marine fish species (Peter
1999). This article lists species that are identified
rarely in routine catches at major fish landing sites
and are not included in the recent FAO fish species
catalog. That the six species of Ambassis natalensis
Gilchrist and Thompson, Pomadasys striatus
(Gilchrist and Thompson), Narcine oculifera
Carvalho, Compagno and Mee, Paramonacanthus
choirocephalus (Bleeker), Paramonacanthus
tricuspis (Hollard) and Chromis westaustralis Allen
were not documented might have been because they
occur rarely in commercial catches. This report provides the distribution range of each of them and
otolith descriptions for some of them. The purpose of
this study was to update the fish species checklist of
Pakistan and to report the first information regarding
the underreported presence of these six species from
five families in Pakistan