Alosa caspia, Caspian shad : fisheries

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Alosa caspia (Eichwald, 1838)

Caspian shad
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Alosa caspia   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Alosa caspia (Caspian shad)
Alosa caspia
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes(genus, species) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Teleostei (teleosts) > Clupeiformes (Herrings) > Alosidae (Shads and Sardines)
Etymology: Alosa: Latin, alausa = a fish cited by Ausonius and Latin, halec = pickle, dealing with the Greek word hals = salt; it is also the old Saxon name for shad = "alli" ; 1591 (Ref. 45335).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; pelagic-neritic; anadromous (Ref. 51243). Temperate; 48°N - 37°N, 27°E - 54°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Eurasia: Black Sea, Sea of Azov and Caspian Sea.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 32.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 593); common length : 20.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 188); max. published weight: 250.00 g (Ref. 593); max. reported age: 7 years (Ref. 10549)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Anal spines: 0. Body `shad-like', usually rather deep and compressed. Total gill rakers 50 to 180, long and thin, distinctly longer than filaments. Teeth poorly developed in jaws, sometimes barely detectable. A black spot posterior to gill opening and occasionally further black spots on flank in some cases.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Schooling and migratory (Ref. 188); at sea, pelagic in coastal waters with steady current and avoids areas with stable salinity; migrates from sea to mouth of large rives and spawns in fresh- or slightly brackish-water at shallow sites washed by flow of large rivers. Males migrate upriver at 2-3 years, females at 4-5; many individuals reproduce 2-4 seasons. Two migration peaks, one in late April (mostly males), one in early May (mostly females), entering rivers when temperature rises above 10°C. Spawns when temperature is at least 15°C, in May to June. Spawning usually occurs in the upper 3 m. Eggs semi-pelagic and demersal. Spent fish migrate back to the sea; juveniles migrate to sea during first summer, remaining there until they mature. Feeds mainly on zooplankton (copepods and mysids) when at sea (Ref. 59043). Depending on the subspecies (10 subspecies known), some are semi-anadromous and spawn in fresh or slightly saline waters, mainly in the lower reaches, whereas others are practically marine and spawn in brackish or even fully saline oceanic waters. One of the most warm-loving Alosa of the Caspian. Only A. a. caspia of the Caspian Sea is of commercial importance (Ref. 188).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Depending on the subspecies some are semi-anadromous and spawn in fresh or slightly saline waters, mainly in the lower reaches, whereas others are practically marine and spawn in brackish or even fully saline oceanic waters (Ref.188).There are two migration peaks, one in late April (mostly males) and one in early May (mostly females). Spent fish migrate back to sea. Juveniles migrate to sea during first summer, remaining at sea until they mature (Ref. 59043).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Whitehead, P.J.P., 1985. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 7. Clupeoid fishes of the world (suborder Clupeoidei). An annotated and illustrated catalogue of the herrings, sardines, pilchards, sprats, shads, anchovies and wolf-herrings. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(7/1):1-303. Rome: FAO. (Ref. 188)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 130435)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 01 January 2008


Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial
FAO - Publication: search | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


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Internet sources

AFORO (otoliths) | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes: genus, species | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | FAO - Publication: search | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank: genome, nucleotide | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia: Go, Search | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00891 (0.00591 - 0.01344), b=2.97 (2.85 - 3.09), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  3.5   ±0.46 se; based on food items.
Generation time: 3.7 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 1 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tmax=7).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Low.
Nutrients (Ref. 124155):  Calcium = 16.7 [7.1, 87.1] mg/100g; Iron = 0.673 [0.290, 1.421] mg/100g; Protein = 19.1 [16.5, 21.8] %; Omega3 = 1.43 [0.76, 2.77] g/100g; Selenium = 10.4 [5.1, 20.6] μg/100g; VitaminA = 29.1 [7.3, 113.9] μg/100g; Zinc = 0.372 [0.231, 0.630] mg/100g (wet weight);