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 TitleIn Cod We Trust
Common Name of FishAtlantic Cod
Scientific Name of FishGadus morhua
Image of FishImage of Fish
Image Caption and CreditPackaging of salt cod in one of the world's first industrial fisheries. Credit: Stefan Claesson, Gulf of Maine Cod Project, NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries, Courtesy of National Archives
Description of Why This Fish Is Important/Interesting

With >94,000 hits on Google Scholar for Gadus morhua, Atlantic cod is likely the best studied fish species ever. It has been argued that the pursuit of cod led the Basque fishermen to "discover" the Americas long before Christopher Columbus. Similarly, this fish species played an infamous role in America's triangular trade, with dried cod shipped from New England to the Caribbean to provide protein to sustain the labor of slaves. The cod fishery contributed so much to the early colonial development of New England's economy that a statue of a codfish is displayed prominently in the Massachusetts State House. Several wars in Europe have been fought over access to cod by different nations. Also, the collapse of cod fisheries in the Gulf of Maine and off Eastern Canada provide an infamous warning about the fact that, once a species disappears due to overfishing, the ecosystem may reorganize itself such that recovery can be an extremely long road.

Website or Journal Article for More Informationhttps://www.amazon.com/Cod-Biography-Fish-Changed-World/dp/0140275010/ref=sr_1_1?crid=6IJJ45JVLYIJ&keywords=cod+kurlansky&qid=1576967906&sprefix=cod+Kurl%2Caps%2C470&sr=8-1
Your NameRebecca Asch