Pontic shad

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Pontic shad
Caspialosa kessleri pontica Dunai hering.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Clupeiformes
Family: Clupeidae
Genus: Alosa
Species: A. immaculata
Binomial name
Alosa immaculata
E. T. Bennett, 1835
Synonyms [1]

Alosa pontica (Eichwald, 1838)

The Pontic shad (Alosa immaculata, previously Alosa pontica), also referred to as the Black Sea shad or Kerch shad, is a species of clupeid fish in the genus Alosa, native to the Black Sea and Sea of Azov basins.[2][3]


Alosa immaculata lives in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, and adults migrate up rivers to spawn.[1] It may also be found in the Marmara Sea in Turkey.[4] It currently migrates up and spawns in six rivers: the Danube, Dnieper, Dniester, Southern Bug, Don and Kuban Rivers. Previously the migrations reached far upstream, up to 1,600 in Danube and 900 km in Don, now dams are restricting the migrations. There is also a landlocked population in Don.[1]

Life cycle[edit]

Alosa immaculata are anadromous. Spawning occurs between the warmer months of May and August. It has a pelagic life and prefers to feed on small fishes and crustaceans.[4]


Although the species used to migrate as far upstream as the Mohács (Hungary) in the Danube, the building of dams has limited the species. It is now regionally extinct in Hungary.[1] Excessive fishing and pollution may also be responsible for their decline.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e J. Freyhof & M. Kottelat (2008). "Alosa immaculata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved February 24, 2010. 
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Alosa immaculata" in FishBase. April 2006 version.
  3. ^ A. pontica (Eichwald,1838) - черноморско-азовская проходная сельдь Позвоночные животные России. sevin.ru
  4. ^ a b c Yılmaz, Savaş, and Nazmi Polat. Length-Weight Relationship and Condition Factor of Pontic Shad, Alosa Immaculata (Pisces: Clupeidae) From the Southern Black Sea. Research Journal of Fisheries and Hydrobiology 6.2 (2011): 49-53.