150 Fishes to Celebrate 150 Years

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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 TitleFunny-fin sunbather
Common Name of FishOcean sunfish
Scientific Name of FishMola mola
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditMola mola happily swimming with a much smaller fish friend.
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

This fish has unique fins, with only one vertical dorsal fin, one vertical ventral fin, two tiny pectoral fins, and a large rounded caudal fin. They are the largest saltwater bony fish, with the largest fish on record measuring over 14 feet long. They also produce more eggs than any other vertebrates (including land-dwelling ones), at over 30 million per spawning event. This fish is often seen by fishermen and other boaters, as it likes to sunbathe near the ocean's surface, often not too far from the shore.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttp://oceansunfish.org/Rev%20Fish%20Biol%202010.pdf
Your NameToniann Keiling