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 TitleLionfish: A Beautiful Invasion
Common Name of FishLionfish
Scientific Name of FishPterois volitans/miles
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditPterois volitans, also known as red or common lionfish. Picture taken at Tasik Ria, Manado, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photo by Jens Petersen
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Lionfish are believed to have been introduced to the Atlantic Ocean through the aquarium trade as released pets and have first been seen along the Florida and Carolina coasts dating from the early to mid 1990s. Lionfish native ranges are throughout the Indo-Pacific from Australia to Micronesia. In the Atlantic, lionfish have no natural predators or competitors and have an extremely high reproductive rate of 2 million eggs a year. These characteristics have caused these fishes to be extremely successful, to the point that they outnumber native grouper species. With virtually nothing naturally limiting their populations, these non-selective predators wreak havoc on native fish populations. They have been observed consuming 20 small fish over the course of half an hour. With a wide range, fast reproduction, and extreme appetite, the regulation of these fishes is challenge, and the preservation of the fragile Atlantic ecosystems is still very much at risk.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.sailorsforthesea.org/programs/ocean-watch/lionfish-invasion
Your NameAnnalisa Dixon