Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

On the structure of the inshore fish community of England and Wales

P. A. Hendersona1

a1 Marine Biology Unit, C.E.G.B., Fawley Power Station, Fawley, Southampton, SO4 1TW

Records of fish captures on power station intake screens were used to analyse the structure of the English and Welsh inshore fish community. The study was undertaken as part of a programme to predict fish captures at future power station sites. It was found that 118 of the 122 fish species known to live inshore were recorded from the screens of 12 coastal power stations. The maximum number of species at one site was about 80, achieved at fully marine localities along the English Channel coast. This number declined with increasing latitude and decreasing salinity.

Fish subdivide their use of the inshore habitat both spatially and temporally and the proportion of species complement within the major subdivisions of the habitat was remarkably similar at all sites. On average, 28 species were present simultaneously and these would include 4 pelagic, 8 demersal and 16 benthic species.