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Theodosia


The fish population of the northern shore of the Black Sea: Crimea    EN

Author: KRAIKOFSKY ALEXEI

Crimea is the biggest peninsula in the Black Sea which has about 1000 kilometers of coastline and is surrounded by the Black and Azov seas. This specific geographic position determines the peculiarities of the adjacent marine environment including the marine biota.
From the environmental point of view, the sea around the peninsula is divided into four major zones – the Azov Sea, the Strait of Kerch, the Southern shore and the Dnieper estuary zone. Here we will consider in more details the sea south of the peninsula. The navigation is this area meets significant problems because of the specific coastline with its numerous rocky bays, very picturesque but poorly protected. The bays of Sevastopol, Sudak and Feodosia are exceptions1. The water near the south shore of the peninsula has relatively stable salinity at the level of 17 – 18%, while the temperature fluctuates strongly during the year. The scientists distinguish the cold season (December – March) with the temperature about 8 – 9oC, two transition periods (April – May and October – November) when the temperature is between 10 and 15oC, and finally the warm period (June – September), when the water may warm up to 20oC and even higher2 . These conditions are good for marine biota and the fish population near the Crimean shore is rather rich though the forage base there is relatively poor. Some fish species form specific Crimean subpopulations, as in the case of the Black Sea sprat3.
The history of Crimean fisheries goes back to the Antiquity. For instance, the archaeologists who studied the remains of Chersones of Tavrida stressed the special importance of fisheries and fish preservation industry for the economy of this city4. Later the fisheries were controlled by Greeks and Italians though in general the period of Tartar dominion was not successful for the Crimean fisheries. As a result, when the Russian Empire gained control over the peninsula in the 18th century the region had at least four relatively big centers of fishing industry – namely Inkerman, Balaklava, Kafa and Kerch6. They were included into the Tavrida Governance and were not controlled by one big owner as it was the case on the Don and on the Kuban. 
In general, the fishing zone near the Crimean shore is divided into three areas – the Eastern area (the Strait of Kerch), the Southern area (with the center in Balaklava) and the Western area with the center in Tarhankut bay. The zones of Feodosia, Evpatoria and Yalta were less important. The fishermen of the Southern zone of Crimea in the mid-19th century used to catch predominantly mackerel, mullet and anchovy though the total list of target species included also goat fish (Mullus barbatus), herring and also red fish (Acipenseridae). In the early 20th century, about 50 species of fish were caught in the Crimean waters and about 60% of the catches were provided by mullet, herring, mackerel, anchovy, beluga sturgeon and Russian sturgeon7
The use of molluscs is another peculiarity of the Crimean fisheries. The Black Sea oysters (Ostrea edulis L.) were quite abundant historically through the history of Black Sea oyster fisheries, as well as the biology of these molluscs are still not studied in detail 8. The oysters of Crimea (especially those of Sevastopol) were considered good in terms of quality and taste though small in size. In the late 19th century the population decreased which initiated the artificial breeding of the Black Sea oysters. In total in the fishing season 1894 – 95 (from the late August to the early April) Sevastopol provided about 900.000 of oysters delivered to Central Russia by rail9.


[1] A. K. Vinogradov, Ju. I. Bogatova, I. A. Sinegub, Экосистемы акваторий морских портов Черноморско-Азовского бассейна (Введение в экологию морских портов) [Ecosystems of the Sea ports of the Black and Azov Sea basins. (Introduction into the ecology of the Sea ports), Odessa 2012, 42.
[2] N. I. Chekmeneva, A. A. Subbotin, "Гидрофизическая характеристика отдельных районов шельфовой зоны Южного Крыма (Чёрное море)" ["Hydro-physical characteristics of some areas of the shelf zone of the Southern Crimea (the Black Sea)"], Ekologija morja 77 (2009), 72 – 73.
[3] G. V. Zuev, D. K. Gucal, E. B. Mel'nikova, V. A. Bondarev, Ju. L. Murzin, "Рыбные ресурсы Чёрного моря (состав, состояние запасов и эксплуатация)" ["Fish resources of the Black Sea (composition, status of stocks and use)"], Gidrobiologicheskij zhurnal 46 (4)(2010), 20 – 21.
[4] See for instance: A. I. Romanchuk, "План рыбозасолочных цистерн Херсонеса" ["The plan of fish-preparing tanks of Chersonesos"], Antichnaja drevnost' i srednie veka 14 (1977), 18-26.
[5] See for details M.I. Kumancov, Возникновение и развитие рыболовства Северного Причерноморья. Часть 1. (от древности до начала XX в.) [The emergence and development of the Northern Black Sea fisheries, part 1: (from ancient times to the beginning of the XX century)], Мoscow 2011, 78 – 95.
[6] See M.I. Kumancov, Возникновение и развитие рыболовства Северного Причерноморья. Часть 1. (от древности до начала XX в.) [The emergence and development of the Northern Black Sea fisheries, part 1: (from ancient times to the beginning of the XX century)], Мoscow 2011, 131 – 137.
[7] Ibid., 147.
[8] See for details T.F. Krakatica, Биология черноморской устрицы Ostrea edulis L. в связи с вопросами ее воспроизводства [Biology of the Black Sea oyster Ostrea edulis L. in relation to issues of reproduction], Kiev 1976.
[9] See for details N. Borodin, "Устричный промысел и устрицеводство" ["Oyster harvesting"], Jenciklopedicheskij slovar' Brokgauza i Efrona, Tom XXXV (69), S. Peterburg 1902, 49 – 50.


References

A. I. Romanchuk, "План рыбозасолочных цистерн Херсонеса" ["The plan of fish-preparing tanks of Chersonesos"],Antichnaja drevnost' i srednie veka14 (1977).
A. K. Vinogradov, Ju. I. Bogatova, I. A. Sinegub, Экосистемы акваторий морских портов Черноморско-Азовского бассейна (Введение в экологию морских портов) [Ecosystems of the Sea ports of the Black and Azov Sea basins. (Introduction into the ecology of the Sea ports), Odessa 2012.
N. I. Chekmeneva, A. A. Subbotin, "Гидрофизическая характеристика отдельных районов шельфовой зоны Южного Крыма (Чёрное море)" ["Hydro-physical characteristics of some areas of the shelf zone of the Southern Crimea (the Black Sea)"], Ekologija morja 77 (2009).
G. V. Zuev, D. K. Gucal, E. B. Mel'nikova, V. A. Bondarev, Ju. L. Murzin, "Рыбные ресурсы Чёрного моря (состав, состояние запасов и эксплуатация)" ["Fish resources of the Black Sea (composition, status of stocks and use)"], Gidrobiologicheskij zhurnal 46 (4)(2010).
M.I. Kumancov, Возникновение и развитие рыболовства Северного Причерноморья. Часть 1. (от древности до начала XX в.) [The emergence and development of the Northern Black Sea fisheries, part 1: (from ancient times to the beginning of the XX century)], Мoscow 2011.
N. Borodin, "Устричный промысел и устрицеводство" ["Oyster harvesting"], Jenciklopedicheskij slovar' Brokgauza i Efrona, Tom XXXV (69), S. Peterburg 1902.
T. F. Krakatica, Биология черноморской устрицы Ostrea edulis L. в связи с вопросами ее воспроизводства [Biology of the Black Sea oyster Ostrea edulis L. in relation to issues of reproduction], Kiev 1976.


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