, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 157-164

Spread of alien (non-indigenous) fish species Neogobius melanostomus in the Gulf of Gdansk (south Baltic)

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Abstract

The round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) was first noticed in the Gulf of Gdansk in 1990. This Ponto-Caspian fish was most likely introduced to the Baltic environment from ships’ ballast water. During the first years of invasion, slow population growth was observed in the initially colonized regions. From 1994, round goby gradually spread in all shallow water zones of the Gulf of Gdansk. The area occupied by the population and the number of fish grew rapidly. By the end of the nineties, round goby became a dominant fish in shallow waters of the western part of the Gulf of Gdansk, where the fish used all solid substrates on the bottom, including concrete piers, big stones or even dumped waste for spawning and refuge. The presence of round goby in the Vistula Lagoon and shallow waters near Rugia (Western Baltic) was noticed for the first time in 1999. The present state, size and condition of the round goby population in the Gulf of Gdansk led us to predict a continual spread of this species into new regions of the Baltic. In addition, the population of round goby is so large that the species has started playing a part in commercial fishing in the Gulf of Gdansk.