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The ichthyofauna of lake Skadar/Shkodra: Diversity, economic significance, condition, and conservation status

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Abstract

The freshwater ichthyofauna of Lake Skadar/Shkodra consists of 59 species belonging to 18 families (17 of which are native), including diadromous, euryhaline, and introduced ones. Of these, 44 are native to the watershed, whereas 15 are introduced. Seven species are endemic (now present): Ninnigobius montenegrensis, Knipowitschia montenegrina, Barbatula zetensis, Rutilus albus, Gobio skadarensis, Salmo zetensis, Alosa sp., and Chondrostoma scodrense – extinct (EW). The most diverse family is Cyprinidae with 24 (of which 16 are native = 36.3%) species, followed by Mugillidae (5), and Gobiidae (4). Fish in this watershed have significant economic potential. The following species are fished and can be fished for the commercial purposes (economic fishery): Bleak (Alburnus scoranza), Carp (Cyprinus carpio), Skadar Rudd (Scardinius knezevici), Skadar Chub (Squalius platyceps), Goldfish (Carassius auratus), Ohrid Nase (Chondrostoma ohridanum), Eel (Anguilla anguilla), Spotted Roach (Pachychilon pictum), Yellow Roach (Rutilus prespensis), White Roach (R. albus), Mugilidae, species of the genus Alosa, Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), European Perch (Perca fluviatilis), and Flounder (Pleuronectes flesus) as well as scrap fish – others. In the past, as much as 1,500–2,000 tons used to be fished each year, whereas less than 1/3 of that catch has been landed recently. Presently, there are no precise records on catch, but some species like Alosa sp., Trout and Nase have no commercial potential any longer. For several decades now, there have been no species from the genus Acipenser in this Lake. The catch of all the economically significant species has dropped, and that of the less significant ones has increased. The largest number have the LC (30.5%) status, but one third of the species are in a certain category of threat (33.3%), and those are mainly those species endemic to the Adriatic watershed. Three species (5.1%) are classified as critically endangered (CR – 5.1%), and three are endangered species (EN – 5.1%), while four are vulnerable or sensitive (VU – 6.8%). The species Salmo farioides has also been listed in the VU group since it is a subject of sports fishing and it suffers immense fishing pressure. The data necessary for the assessment of threat status are deficient for nine species (DD – 15.2%), whereas the status of a near threatened species (NT) has been established for only two species (3.4%).

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Marić, D. (2018). The ichthyofauna of lake Skadar/Shkodra: Diversity, economic significance, condition, and conservation status. In Handbook of Environmental Chemistry (Vol. 80, pp. 363–381). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/698_2018_238

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