150 Fishes to Celebrate 150 Years

This list is still in progress and being added to weekly. Check back again soon!

150 Fishes to Celebrate 150 Years

In 2020, the American Fisheries Society will celebrate its 150th Anniversary. As part of the celebration, the Society will be calling attention to 150 fishes. We solicited nominations of fishes for the list by the Society’s membership.

The 150 Fishes list is a celebration of the biodiversity of freshwater and marine fishes of North America. These fishes will help tell the story of fish and fisheries of the continent. They may illustrate unique life histories, beauty, conservation issues, and challenges of managing and conserving these animals and their habitats.  These fishes represent our native biodiversity, but also illustrates how invasives and our own human nature have had impacts on our aquatic resources. Hence, this list will primarily focus on native species but may include non-natives when they tell a compelling fisheries story. From the stories of these fishes, the Society and the public can learn to better appreciate these amazing natural resources and be challenged to ensure that future generations will be able to experience these fishes in their native settings.

Nomination Process

Fish nominations are now closed.

Circulation Process

The 150 Fishes list will reside at the 150th Anniversary Website, information about individual fish from the list will be circulated through various social media platforms throughout the year.

This list is meant to be a fun for members and informative for the public. It is unlikely we will be able to include all nominations. We acknowledge that every fish has a story. There may be opportunities to discuss all the nominated fishes in the future.


Catchy TitleGender bender and climate change winner
Common Name of FishBlack Sea Bass
Scientific Name of FishCentropristis striata
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditCredit: Michael Eversmier
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Black sea bass are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning they start life as females but some later transition to males. Males are either of the dominant or subordinate type. Dominant males have a bright blue nuccal hump and may aggressively defend groups of females during the spawning season. Subordinate males have little distinguishing features compared to females, which may help them contribute to spawning despite the aggressive behavior of dominant males. Black sea bass are also the poster child for marine species that may win big with climate change. Their abundance has greatly increased over the past few decades and their range has expanded into areas where they were once rare. They are highly sought after by both commercial and recreational fishermen. They are an example of both a fisheries management success story and the continuing challenges of balancing trade offs of quota allocations based on fish distribution or historic social/cultural aspects of fisheries.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/black-sea-bass
Your NameJulia Beaty