Rare and endangered fish of the Adriatic Sea


The Adriatic Sea is poor in quantity but rich in variety of fish. There are about 440 species of fish in the Adriatic. According to the Red List 123 fish species in the Adriatic are endangered and 5 species are critically endangerd.

The most endangered are the sharks because they have few offsprings, grow slowly and are overfished which is caused by the negative opinion people have about them. Therefore, they are strictly protected just like theĀ green wrasse (Labrus viridis), the Seahorse (Hippocampus spp), the Adriatic sturgeon (Acipenser naccarii), the Sunfish (Mola mola) and it is permanently forbidden to hunt them.

Some economically important species such as the corb (Sciaena umbra), the grouper (Epinephelus spp) etc, are protected by measures such as closed seasons, minimum hunting quantities and catch quotas allowed.

The main causes of vulnerability of fish populations are fishing, destruction of their habitat, pollution, harassment, entry of alien species and climate change.


There are two species of seahorse in the Adriatic. These are endangered, strictly protected and small fish of an unusual shape which usually hide among the leaves of seagrass and algae to which they hold on by their prehensive tail. They move slowly so anyone can catch them easily

In the animal world they are unique because the male takes care of their offspring. The female lays eggs in the egg pouch of the male on the abdomen which later develop into baby seahorses.

You can also help:

  • if you do not buy dried seahorses as souvenirs
  • if you take a photo instead of buying seahorses as souvenirs
  • if you preserve their habitats
  • if you report hunting and sales of seahorses at 112

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