Sea fish

Black Sea fish: discover what creatures live in the deep world of the Black Sea!


The Black Sea is a huge source of minerals, but also a home for a large number of fish species. Fish belong to the oldest and most numerous group of vertebrates in the aquatic environment. All species of marine animals in the Black Sea live in the water column and on the ocean floor. Marine biologists have discovered over 150,000 species of creatures, including plants and animals living in the world of the sea and oceans.

The Black Sea is the pillar that closes the long chain of the Mediterranean, so there live a minimum number of fish. All species are of oceanic origin and live there because that area is similar to their natural environment. There are about 500 species of fish in the Mediterranean basin, but only 180 of them are found in the Black Sea. This situation is changing: some species live constantly in the Black Sea, and others move for a certain period of the year

So, find out what are the best-known species of fish and other types of creatures in the Black Sea.

The number of fish species in the Black Sea has decreased significantly over the years. Some species live in the coastal area, which comprises 60% of the area between Crimea and the coast.

Previously, mule species lived in the Black Sea, but due to pollution and massive industrial fishing, they became endangered. There are currently 180 types of fish in the Black Sea.


Little goby

The goby species lives in deep waters, in order to be able to hide from the coastal vegetation, shrimps, and rocks. There are ten species of gobies in the Black Sea that differ from each other. The main feature of this type of fish is that it adapts quickly to various changes and can alter its color. The color change helps them disguise the area they are in at the moment.

Due to the fact that this species of fish has a small size, its whole life is lived as food for predatory fish. In order to defend himself, he developed some defensive methods:

Due to its short body length, it has the ability to swim fast;
This kind of fish is ingenious and already has a place prepared in advance where to hide;
Due to the fact that it has the ability to change color, it can camouflage and hide from predators.




Hamsa is a fish with a length of 8-12 cm and a weight of 8-10 grams. This species is widespread in the Black Sea and lives in large cards. It approaches the shore during April and stays until September. From the Black Sea, it migrates to the Sea of ​​Azov to procure food. It crowds in the southern part of the Romanian coast, and when the water cools, it sinks to a depth of 60-70 meters to winter. Anchovies are the favorite food of many predators, such as blue mackerel, Palamida, turbot, and even dolphins and seagulls.



On our coast, the species called zargan is bathing. In the popular name, the herring is called “sea pike” because it resembles that species of fish. But unlike pike, it has a long and slender body, is very thin, and almost cylindrical. It has a long snout and no teeth, except on the upper jaw. It is greenish-blue on the back and silver on the belly. This species feeds on fish that usually swim on the surface of the water, such as anchovies, small crustaceans, or insects that fall into the water and remain on the surface. Zargan can be fished without a hook. You can catch it with tassels made of red silk threads that cling underwater.



The codfish is part of the Gadidae species that are typical of the Black Sea. Gadidae are fish from the northern regions and there are several species that are targeted for rich fishing. Their liver is used to extract fish fat.

You can recognize a codfish by the mustache on its lower jaw. This type of fish has a special chromatic. It has a brown-blue or yellow-gray pigmentation and reddish and purple reflections, and the ventral part is whitish.

It is a fairly hunted fish, but still not an economic value for Black Sea fishing.


Blue mackerel

Blue mackerel is one of the most valuable fish in the Black Sea. Its body is almost cylindrical, elongated, and covered with small scales.

This species does not breed in the Black Sea, so it enters the marine area when it is still young. It comes mainly for food, so after feasting, it returns to the Marmara Sea and the Aegean Sea, where it breeds in February-March. The chicks hatch in spring, and after developing in their native waters, they also enter the Black Sea in mid-summer.

Blue mackerel is often confused with Danube mackerel, but they are two totally different species. Blue mackerel belongs to the Scrombiade family, and the Danube family belongs to the Clupeidae family.



sea water ocean animal

Tuna is another valuable fish in the world of seas and oceans. It has the shape of a thick and sharp spindle at both ends. His body is large, his head looks like a dolphin’s, his eyes are like a calf’s. It reaches about 5 meters long and 500-600 kg.

It has a talent for stealing its food, it feeds on lufari, blue mackerel.

This species of fish moves in the card and is widespread in the Atlantic Ocean, in the Mediterranean Sea. From here it enters the Black Sea for reproduction (April-May), but in the waters of the Romanian coast, it is quite rare.



Aterina is a marine fish of about 9-10 cm and is a local species of the Black Sea. This small species is almost transparent, due to the muscles that have a special structure. The back is yellow-gray and the scales have a black dot pattern. His body is crossed by a narrow silver stripe. Under this stripe, the body of the landing is white-silver. His fins are colorless.

He migrates ashore in small cards to look for food in the sweetened part of the sea. But it has the ability to withstand large oscillations of salinity, so it migrates in saltwater, such as in front of the mouth of the Danube or in the Sinoe and Kmeica lakes.


What species of fish in the Black Sea are edible?

Most of the fish already presented are edible, but still, find out which are the species that represent the greatest human interest on the culinary side.



The sea perch has a length of 15-25 cm, rarely reaching 40 cm. It has three reddish stripes on the sides of the body and is interspersed with 7-9 vertical bands, and on the cheeks, it has three oblique stripes. It is a species widespread on the European Atlantic coast, in the Red Sea and

The Mediterranean. It is reported near the Crimean coast and in Varna, but also in the Black Sea there is a probability of its presence.

This type of fish can be prepared in the oven and on the grill.



The turbot belongs to the family Pleuronecidae. These species of fish have an asymmetrical body, lying on one side and compressed laterally. If the fish is lying on the right side, then the right eye is on the left side of the head. He looks like a peaceful fish after his appearance, but he is also part of a group of kidnappers. Most often they eat guvy, arteries, anchovies, ie fish that winter at the bottom of the sea.

The heel was considered by the Romans the king of fish. In dishes, it used to be served on a silver tray and with a crown on top. From ancient times it has been considered a delicacy along with the sea tongue. It has a firm, white flesh that stays fresh for a long time. This fish reaches the cuisine on the coast of the North Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea. It’s best eaten boiled, fried, or grilled.


Versatile cambula

The versatile plaice is one of the most popular types of fish and is also widespread in the Black Sea. Unlike the turbot, which has a round body, the flounder has a rhombus shape, is elongated, and is covered with small scales. This fish is a follower of cold water with high salt content and lives at a depth of 10 to 200, even 400, meters.

It does not grow more than 45 cm, and the approximate weight is 100-300 grams. The plaice lives on sandy bottoms, and from there it gathers food consisting of mollusks, fish, worms, and crustaceans.

The meat of the flounder is firm and soft, rich in protein. There are many ways to prepare this kind of fish: in a pan, in the oven, on the grill, boiled or steamed. It is a fish suitable for different occasions and is adapted to numerous menus.



Laban is a species that lives everywhere in the Black Sea. During April-May, the swamps appear on the Romanian coast, when the water starts to heat up. They enter all known coastal lakes (Zmeica, Tabacarie, Mangalia) to feed and gain weight.

This species has an elongated, thick body and a large head. It is covered with large scales, and at the base of the pectoral fins, it has a large and hard scale. On the back, it has a gray-brown-blue color with golden reflections, and on the sides, there are 12 stripes, of which 7-8 extend to the dorsal region. His abdomen is silver, and a black spot can be seen at the base of the pectoral.

Laban is highly sought after for its delicious meat. In late autumn, the swamps head out to sea due to the fact that the lakes are cooling. Then the fishermen have the chance to fish them en masse.


What other creatures live in the Black Sea?

The Black Sea is a huge aquatic world. Not only are there a multitude of fish species, but there are other interesting and lesser-known creatures.


The great horse

The sea horse lives in bushes or algae near the coasts, at a short distance from the shore, and has a length of 10-12 cm. The body of a horse has a reddish-brown or blackish-brown color, and the belly is whitish or gray. In these species of animals, reproduction is very interesting. During May-June, the female lays up to 500 eggs in the form of pears in the male’s bag. The male keeps the eggs for four weeks, after which he releases them, without subsequently taking care of the young.

The sea horse has the attributions of a chameleon: it is able to move its eyes independently of each other and to change its color. It is of no economic importance, its behavior has not yet been fully studied, but, biologically speaking, it is an interesting marine species.


The sea needle

The sea needle is a marine species that live among the Zostera bushes. It is always kept in an upright position, and with the back, which always makes a vibratory movement, it helps to swim. It has the appearance of a knotted stick and is about 37 cm. Its color is greenish-brown-yellow, but it can change its colors depending on the environment in which it is.

This species feeds on crustaceans and fish larger than it but has a large mouth that can expand and with which it can catch food.

So buckthorn

Sea buckthorn is a marine species that live among algae in the coastal region. It catches with the algae tail and stands upright with its head up. His body is like a long string that can reach 25 cm and has about 30 rings on his body, and his snout looks like a tube. Its color is gray-yellow with brown dots on the back. Reproduction is similar to that of the sea horse: the eggs are glued to the male’s abdomen and then released.



white and brown starfish on gray sand

The starfish is part of the Echinodermata species. Its presence in the Black Sea is very rare due to the particular conditions of the marine area. 19 species of starfish are known in the Pontic basin. Only three species have been identified on the US coast. Starfish are often brightly colored: orange, red, blue, but there are species that have neutral colors.


The sea snake

The sea echinoderms also include sea snakes. Their construction is similar to that of starfish: it has a central disk from which grows five arms. The arms are very thin and have the appearance of a snake’s tail, hence the name “sea snake”. With the help of the arms, which are mobile, they can move easily.

Although there are some interesting creatures, only three species of sea snakes are found in the Black Sea.


Sea cucumbers

Sea cucumbers, known as holiturides, are also part of the Echinoderm family. They have an elongated body without a skeleton, and their movement is done by crawling. Its body is 5-10 cm long, has a translucent, yellow, or pink color, and has 10-13 mouth tentacles. Only a few species belonging to this group enter the Black Sea.


The Black Sea adopts more than a dozen species of fish. Each species has found a place for feeding and reproduction. Most of these fish are massively hunted, especially in the summer fishing season, because they are used as delicacies in the dishes of the most prestigious restaurants in the city.