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 TitleSandbar shark is #BestShark
Common Name of FishSandbar Shark
Scientific Name of FishCarcharhinus plumbeus
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditVia ARKIVE
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

Despite their unassuming appearance as the most typical shark you can imagine, sandbar sharks have played an outsized role in both scientific understanding of the oceans and in public appreciation for sharks. They are some of the best-studied large vertebrate animals in the world, because there's a major nursery area in the lower Chesapeake that's been studied by the long-running VIMS shark survey. They were some of the first sharks to have long distance migrations studied, due to their frequent interactions with anglers and NOAA's associated cooperative angler shark tag and release program. A hardy species commonly held in captivity in aquariums around the world, they've been seen by more people than just about any other shark species, and have been critical in inspiring many future marine biologists. Follow #BestShark on Twitter and Instagram to learn more about these incredible, underappreciated animals!

Your NameDavid Shiffman