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Keywords:

  • Atlantic croaker;
  • ballast water;
  • exotic species;
  • Micropogonias undulatus;
  • North Sea;
  • Scheldt Estuary

Two living specimens of the Atlantic croaker Micropogonias undulatus have been caught during recent years in Belgian waters (Southern Bight of the North Sea): one in August 1998 as a by-catch of the commercial shrimp fishery in coastal waters, another in October 2001 on a tidal flat in the brackish part of the Scheldt Estuary. These represent the first records of this north-west Atlantic species in European waters, and their occurrence is likely to be due to transportation in ship ballast water.