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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 53(2)

The status of estuarine fish diversity in Thailand

Chavalit Vidthayanon and Siraprapha Premcharoen

Marine and Freshwater Research 53(2) 471 - 478
Published: 22 April 2002


The 87 families and 607 species of estuarine fish recorded in Thailand since 1966 comprise 30 elasmobranch species and 577 teleost species. Gobies (Eleotridae and Gobiidae) are the most diverse Thai estuarine fishes (~134 species of ~60 genera), although several taxa are still poorly known. They are followed by the clupeioid fishes (4 families: 64 species), ariid catfishes (34 species), croakers (Sciaenidae: 36 species) and halfbeaks (Hemiramphidae: 27 species). The Ariidae, Plotosidae, Mugilidae, Sciaenidae, and the Polynemidae mainly inhabit the estuaries, but the nurseryfish (Kurtidae) is restricted to mangrove canals. More than 90 species are commercially important for small-scale coastal fisheries and in the local economy. Around 40 species are well known in the global aquarium trade. In the past decade, species diversity has drastically decreased owing to loss of habitats (over 55% of mangrove areas have been claimed by deforestation, shrimp ponds and settlements), overfishing and pollution. There are 75 threatened species, (8 endangered; 67 vulnerable and near threatened). Two alien species introduced for aquaculture, Mozambique tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus and sailfin platy Poecilia sphenops, flourish mainly in the inner Gulf of Thailand.

Full text doi:10.1071/MF01122

© CSIRO 2002

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