Alien fish in Swedish waters

By | October 30, 2008

A round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) was caught in late July off the Swedish coast near Karlskrona. This is the first find of its kind in Sweden.

The species, which originates from the Black Sea and probably spread to the Baltic via ballast water, has been found in the Gulf of Gdansk since 1990, in the southern Baltic. Today it is one of the most common coastal fishes there, so it was expected that it would show up in Swedish waters sooner or later, according to researcher Gustaf Almqvist of Stockholm University.

Göran Pettersson is the man behind the sensational catch, which he made as he was bottom angling for perch in Saltsösund outside Karlskrona. Göran, who is from Sibbehult in Scania, has experienced many fish catches in the waters surrounding Karlskrona, but he had never seen this species before. He was even more surprised when, later that day, he caught three more of them.

“I’m interested in fishing, and after having compared them with pictures on the Internet and from an account in the magazine Svensk Fiske (Swedish Fishing), I immediately understood that what I had pulled in were round gobies,” says Göran Pettersson.

Göran alertly froze one of the fish and reported the find to the Swedish Board of Fisheries Coastal Laboratory, which then conveyed the find to Gustaf Almqvist at Stockholm University, who, together with Sven Kullander of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, was able to confirm that it was indeed a round goby. It was a 96 mm long male that was estimated to be two, or at most three, years old. … -astigan

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