Introduced and translocated fish species in the inland waters of Greece


Professor P. S. Economidis, Laboratory of Ichthyology, Department of Zoology, School of Biology, Aristotle University, Box 134, Gr-540 06 Thessaloniki, Greece (e-mail:


Over the last 7 decades, 23 exotic fish species have been introduced into the inland waters of Greece. Some introductions were deliberately planned to take advantage of particular ecological or economic qualities of the species concerned. These include rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum), Pacific salmon, Oncorhynchus sp., vendace, Coregonus lavaretus (L.), grass carp, Ctenopharyngodon idella (Valenciennes), and silver carp, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (Valenciennes). Other introductions, such as that of pumpkinseed, Lepomis gibbosus (L.), and false rasbora, Pseudorasbora parva (Temminck & Schlegel), were unintentional. Further transfers were made of species between various basins within the country, including common carp, Cyprinus carpio L., tench, Tinca tinca (L.), crucian carp, Carassius auratus gibelio (Bloch), bitterling, Rhodeus amarus (Bloch), and Aristotle's catfish, Silurus aristotelis Garman. Some species have become fully acclimatized and have built up important populations. In other cases, the transfers and introductions have had considerable negative impacts, particularly where introduced species have outcompeted native forms, as in the cases of the mosquito fish, Gambusia affinis (Baird & Girard), versus Greek toothcarp, Valencia letourneuxi (Sauvage), in the western Greek marshes, and of Aristotle's catfish versus the wels, Silurus glanis L., in Lake Volvi.