Journal of Fish Biology

Cover image for Vol. 86 Issue 4

Edited By: J.F. Craig

Impact Factor: 1.734

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 16/50 (Fisheries); 43/103 (Marine & Freshwater Biology)

Online ISSN: 1095-8649

Author Guidelines


1. Journal of Fish Biology welcomes research manuscripts containing new biological insight into any aspect of fish biology. We invite papers that report results and ideas of value to fish biology that will serve a wide international readership. Hence the novelty of the content of manuscripts should have relevance beyond a particular species or place in which the work was carried out. All material submitted must be original and unpublished, and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. If in doubt about overlap, please give details of any related work submitted or in press when submitting your manuscript. The Journal uses plagiarism detection software, so in submitting your manuscript you accept that it may be screened against previously published literature.

The Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI) considers that scientists should avoid research threatening the conservation status of any species of fish, which is already regarded as threatened according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species a nd the associated Red List Categories and Criteria version 3.1 ( or which is listed as such in a Red Data Book appropriate to the geographic area concerned. In accordance with this view, papers based on such research will not be accepted, unless the work had clear conservation objectives.

Authors are encouraged to place all species distribution records in a publicly accessible database such as the national Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) nodes ( or data centres endorsed by GBIF, including BioFresh (

2. Submission of manuscripts. We will consider: Regular papers (original research), Review papers, which will either be invited or agreed with an Associate Editor (see 17), Brief Communications (see 18), Letters (see 19), and Comments and Replies (see 20). Contributors to the Journal of Fish Biology should read the Editorial on submissions and authorship in Journal of Fish Biology 79, 1-2 (2011) (available here)
Manuscripts are submitted online at, where a user ID and password are assigned on the first visit. Full instructions and support are available on this site. Authors are expected to suggest potential referees, selected internationally, for their manuscripts in the 'Suggest Reviewers' section.

3. Preparation of manuscripts. Authors should consult a recent issue of Journal of Fish Biology for details of style and presentation. If their manuscript does not follow the format of the Journal, it will be returned to them unreviewed. Manuscripts must be double-spaced throughout, all pages must be numbered and line numbering set to continuous, including tables, figure legends and reference lists. Use a font size ≥ 12. Do not save files in PDF (portable document format) format.

The first page must contain the following information: the title of the paper, name(s) (initials ONLY for forenames) and FULL academic address(es) of ALL author(s); if the address of any author has changed, it should be added as a footnote. Telephone number and email address for the corresponding author (one only) should be provided as a footnote. A concise running headline of not more than 45 characters inclusive of spaces should also be given on this page. For regular papers arrange sections in the following sequence: Title page (as a separate page), Abstract and Key Words (as a separate page), Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion (a combined Results and Discussion is not acceptable and Conclusions as a heading is only acceptable in Review Papers), Acknowledgements (for individuals use initials only for forenames and no titles), References, Tables (with captions; see 6 below), Figure captions, Figures and Appendices. Within sections, subdivisions should not normally exceed two grades; decimal number classification of headings and subheadings should not be used (see recent past issues). Footnotes should not be used except in Tables. Spelling must be U.K. English, e.g. Concise Oxford English Dictionary (as distinct from American English) throughout, except in quotations and references. All Latin words (but excluding scientific words other than genus and species) should be in italics. Do not write text in the first person.

Do not duplicate information in tables and figures, or vice versa or in text and figures. Do not repeat table headings and figure legends in the text. Punctuation should be consistent and only a single space inserted between words and after punctuation. Do not indicate positions of tables and figures in the text. Two blank lines should be left after headings and between paragraphs. Text should be typed without end of line hyphenation, except for compound words. Lower case ‘l’ for ‘1’ or ‘O’ for ‘0’ should not be used.

4. Abstract. This must be concise and summarize only the significant findings of the paper (i.e. not the background or methods). It should be followed by a list of 6 key words or key phrases that are not included in the title, with a maximum of 100 characters (including punctuation and spacing).

5. Illustrations. Photographs should be selected only to illustrate something that cannot adequately be displayed in any other manner. Magnification should be given in actual terms and all stains used should be described in full. Colour figures can be included; the first two will be produced free of charge, additional figures will be produced online free of charge, print production will be at the author’s expense. Authors must complete a Colour Work Agreement Form for any colour figures requiring payment. This will be indicated on acceptance. The form can be downloaded as a PDF from the home page at, or by clicking here Please note that the Colour Work Agreement Form must be returned by post to the address provided on acceptance. Number figures consecutively using Arabic numerals [Fig. 1, 2, etc.: subdivide by (a), (b), etc.], in order of their mention in the text. A fully descriptive caption must be provided for every figure and the complete list of captions typed together on a  separate page. Captions must not be included on the figures. All relevant information, e.g. keys to the symbols and formulae, should be included in the caption. The minimum reduction for the figures may be indicated. Artwork should be received in digital format. Line artwork (vector graphics) should be saved as Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) and bitmap files (half-tones or photographic images) as Tagged Image Format (TIFF). Native file formats should not be submitted. More detailed information on the submission of electronic artwork can be found at

6. Tables. Number consecutively in Roman numerals (Table I, II, etc.), in the order of their mention in the text. Captions for tables should be typed directly above each table, not on a separate page. Footnotes to tables should be indicated by superscripts and typed at the bottom of the tables. Tables and figures must ‘stand alone’ and so all abbreviations must be defined in the figure captions and as footnotes in the tables. Tables, figures and figure captions should be saved in separate files from the main text of the manuscript. Tables should not be embedded in the text file in picture format.

7. Units and symbols. Use metric units. Physical measurements should be in accordance with the Système International d’Unités (SI), e.g. mm, mm3 , s, g, μg, m s-1, g l-1. Use joules not calories. Authors will find the following two publications helpful: British Standard 1991: Part I: 1967 Recommendations for Letter Symbols, Signs and Abbreviations and Units, Symbols and Abbreviations. A Guide for Biological and Medical Editors and Authors (Baron, D.N., ed.) published by the Royal Society of Medicine, London.

In mathematical expressions, single letters (italics) should be used for variables, qualifying them with subscripts (not italics) if required, e.g. length L, fork length LF, standard length LS, index I, gonado-somatic index IG, hepato-somatic index IH, etc. The 24 hour clock should be used for time of day, e.g. 1435 hours, not 2.35 p.m. Calendar dates should be as, e.g. 15 June 1998. In the text, one-digit numbers should be spelt out unless they are used with units of measure (in which case they should not be hyphenated), e.g. five boxes, 5 cm. Numerals should be used for all numbers of two or more digits, e.g. 34 boxes. Use mass(es) rather than weight(s). Means and error (S.D., S.E., 95% C.L., etc.), should be to the same number of decimal places. Salinity is dimensionless with no units; do not use psu, ‰ or similar.

8. Statistics. Present statistics as follows: name of test, test statistic with associated degrees of freedom (d.f.; note that an F-distribution has TWO d.f. values) and probability level (P). If data conform to all the assumptions of the statistical method used, precise P-values can be given, otherwise P-values should be >0.05, 0.05, 0.01 and 0.001. The P-values given by statistical packages assume that all the assumptions of the statistical method are fully met. Although ANOVA and regression are robust, the real P-values are likely to be different from the values printed by the package, because of violations of the assumptions. Provide confidence intervals (95% C.I.) for parameters estimated by ANOVA and regression analysis.Contributors to the Journal of Fish Biology should read the Editorial on reporting statistical results in Journal of Fish Biology 78, 697-699 (2011) (available here)

9. Species nomenclauture. On first mention of a species name in the main text, the common name of the species, if one is available, followed by the scientific species name (Latin binomial name, in italics) with the describing authority and date of authorship must be given. The common name should not be separated from the scientific name by a comma nor should the species name be in parentheses. The describing authority and date of authorship should not be separated by a comma. For example: the rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum 1792); NOT, the rainbow trout, [Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum, 1792)]. First use of species names in the title and Abstract should include common and scientific names as above, but do not require the describing authority and date of authorship.

Use standard sources for species common names, including: Wheeler, A. (1992). A list of the common and scientific names of fishes of the British Isles. Journal of Fish Biology 41 (Supplement A) (for British fishes); Wheeler, A.C., Merrett, N.R. & Quigley, D.T.G. (2004). Additional records and notes for Wheeler’s (1992) List of the Common and Scientific Names of Fishes of the British Isles. Journal of Fish Biology 65, Supplement B (for British fishes); Nelson, J.S., Crossman, E.J., Espinosa-P´erez, H., Findley, L.T., Gilbert, C.R., Lea, R.N. & Williams, J.D. (2004). Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Committee on Names of Fishes. 6th edn. Bethesda, MD, U.S.A.: American Fisheries Society (for North American fishes; except those covered above for British fishes); Froese, R. & Pauly, D. (Eds) (2010). FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.; FAO Guides for Fisheries Purposes.

When first using scientific species names the describing authority name appears in parentheses only if the binomial combination of the name has changed since the original description. Oncorhynchus clarkii (Richardson 1836) for example, includes the authority name in parentheses because Richardson initially described the species in the genus Salmo, under the name Salmo clarkia, whereas the name Salmo marmoratus Cuvier 1829 is currently recognized exactly as originally named by Cuvier. When the describing authority is Linnaeus, this should be abbreviated to L., e.g. Cyprinus carpio L. 1758. The citation for the original description of a species should not be included in the References unless additional specific details (i.e. more than just the species name) supplied by that publication are discussed in the manuscript. Use the online Catalog of Fishes as the standard authority for species nomenclature and date of description: Eschmeyer, W. N. (Ed.) Catalog of Fishes electronic version (5 January 2011). After initial use of the species’ common and scientific names, subsequent reference to the species should use the scientific name (without describing author or date) NOT the common name. The genus name should be abbreviated to a single letter (e.g. C. carpio and O. mykiss), except at the start of a sentence or where confusion may arise from multiple genera with the same first letter.

When listing synonyms for a species, the following style is required [based in part on Mincarone & Fernholm Journal of Fish Biology (2010) 77, 779–801]:
Eptatretus cirrhatus (Forster 1801)
Homea banksii Fleming 1822: 375 (original description; type locality: South Seas; holotype: unknown)
Bdellostoma heptatrema Müller 1836: 79 (original description; type locality: South seas; holotype: unknown)
Bdellostoma forsteri Müller 1836: 80 (original description; type locality: Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand; holotype: unknown). Conel, 1931: 76 Bdellostoma forsteri var. heptatrema. Müller, 1838: 174 (new combination)
Bdellostoma cirrhatum. Günther, 1870: 511 (in part). Hutton, 1872: 87 (in part). Putnam, 1874: 160 (in part). Günther, 1880: 27
(Note that species names that are modifications of an existing binomial, rather than an original description, are separated from the author name by a full stop, Bdellostoma cirrhatum. Günther, 1870: 511 (in part).
The plural ‘fish’ should be used for the same species, ‘fishes’ for more than one species.
Any specimens used for taxonomic analyses should, wherever possible, be deposited in appropriate scientific collections (e.g. museums and university collections, or private collections when there is good evidence that these are adequately maintained), with identifying catalogue numbers, so that they are accessible to the scientific community for subsequent examination and taxonomic revision. Namebearing type specimens of taxa that are described in the Journal of Fish Biology as new to science must be deposited in recognized national or international institutions that can meet Recommendations 72F.1-5 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN, 1999; available here) for institutional responsibility. The chosen institute for deposition of name-bearing type specimens should be able to meet these responsibilities into the foreseeable future. A paratype series may be distributed among more than one recognized national or international institution at the discretion of the authors. This is encouraged for paratype series that include numerous specimens, where the paratype series can be split into two or more representative samples, comprising several specimens that are deposited at different institutions. For examples of recognized national or international institutions see earlier taxonomic publications in the Journal of Fish Biology, or check institutions listed in Eschmeyer’s Catalog of Fishes Online (available here), and see Poss & Collette, Copeia 1995, 48- 70, for U.S. and Canadian institutions. Institutional abbreviations used in manuscripts should follow standard code designations as given in Eschmeyer’s Catalog of Fishes Online (see link above). Contributors to the Journal of Fish Biology should read the Editorial on correct nomenclature in Journal of Fish Biology 78, 1283-1290 (2011) (available here)

10. Genetic nomenclature. The Journal uses the zebrafish system (see info/nomen.html) for genes and proteins of fish origin. Genes should be in italic lower case text and proteins in non-italic lower case text with the first letter capitalized. If the genes and proteins are of human origin, use the human nomenclature, with genes in upper case italic text and proteins in upper case non-italic text. Contributors to the Journal of Fish Biology should read the Editorial on correct nomenclature in Journal of Fish Biology 78, 1283-1290 (2011) (available here)

11. Sequence data. Manuscripts containing novel amino acid squences (e.g. primer sequences) will only be accepted if they carry an International Nucleotide Sequence Databases (INSD) accession number from the European Biology Laboratory (EMBL), GenBank Data Libraries (GenBank) or DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ). The Journal of Fish Biology strongly recommends that when authors deposit data in genetic data banks they include specimen catalogue numbers (for specimens preserved in collections), a note identifying sequences that are derived from type specimens (see 9) and collection locality data. The data base accession number must be given in the Materials and Methods section of the manuscript. For taxonomic papers that refer to sequences derived from specimens preserved in collections (see 9), authors should include a table that clearly links each sequence accession number with the specimen from which it was derived. Sequences from type specimens should also be clearly identified in this Table (e.g. given in bold text). A nomenclature for genetic sequences for type and some non-type specimens has been proposed by Chakrabarty et al. (2013) [Chakrabarty, P., Warren, M., Page, L., Baldwin, C. (2013). GenSeq: An updated nomenclature for genetic sequences and a formal ranking of sequences from type and non-type sources. Zookeys 346, 29–41, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.346.5753] and may be used (but is not obligatory): sequences from holotypes are identified as genseq-1, paratypes genseq-2, those from topotypes are genseq-3, and the genetic marker(s) used are incorporated into the nomenclature (e.g. genseq-2 ND2). Lengthy nucleotide sequences will only be published in the text if, in the judgement of the Editor-in-Chief, these results are of general interest and importance. Where sequences are already published, reference to the original source will suffice.

12. RAPD. Data derived by RAPDs (randomly amplified polymorphic DNAs) technology are frequently not satisfactory and conclusions derived from them unreliable. Papers submitted to the Journal should not include data generated by this technique.

13. Acknowledgement of copyright. Authors should obtain permission from the copyright owner (usually this is the publisher) to use any figure, table or extended quotation from material that has previously been published. Acknowledgements, however, should cite the author: ‘Reproduced with permission from Einstein (1975)’.

14. References.
The list of references should be arranged alphabetically according to the surname of the first author and set out as follows:

Boisvert, C. A. (2005). The pelvic fin and girdle of Panderichthys and the origin of tetrapod locomotion. Nature 438, 1145–1147.
Nagahama, Y., Yoshikuni, M., Yamashita, M., Tokumoto, T. & Katsu, Y. (1995). Regulation of oocyte growth and maturation in fish. In Current Topics in Developmental Biology, Vol. 30 (Pederson, R. A. & Schatten, G., eds), pp. 103–145. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Zar, J. H. (1999). Biostatistical Analysis, 4th edn. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

It is important to include the article’s Digital Object Identifier (DOI) (see section 24) in the reference as volume and page information is not always available for articles published online. Please note the following example:

Song, J., Mathieu, A., Soper, R. F. & Popper, A. N. (2006). Structure of the inner ear of bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus. Journal of Fish Biology 68, 1767–1781.doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2006.01057.x

The order in the list should be:

(i). Single authors. Where more than one reference is given for a single author the publications should be listed chronologically.
(ii). Two authors. These should be arranged first alphabetically, then chronologically. For text citations, use the names of both authors and the year. Do not use et al. for two-author references.
(iii). Three or more authors. These should be arranged chronologically. For all text citations, use the surname of the first author only, followed by et al. and the date.

If more than one reference by the same author(s) published in the same year is cited, use a, b, etc. after the year in both text and list, e.g. (1963a). Text citations can be given in either of two ways: (a) with date in parentheses, ‘as demonstrated by Jones (1956)’; (b) with names and date in parentheses, ‘according to recent findings (Jones, 1956)’. Where more than one reference is cited in the text these should be in chronological order, e.g. Smith, 1975; Arnold, 1981; Jones, 1988. Journal titles must be given in full. Provide names and initials of all authors, the full title of the paper, the volume number and the page numbers.. Authors should check that all citations in the text are in the list of references and vice versa, and that their dates match. Journal titles, book titles and any other material within the reference list which will be italicized in print should be italicized or underlined in the manuscript.

References must be available in the public domain, e.g. ‘do not include grey’ literature.

List electronic references separately, under the heading Electronic References, and set out as follows:

ICES (2001). Report of the Northern Pelagic and Blue Whiting Fisheries Working Group. ICES CM 2001/ACFM:17. Available at (last accessed 6 April 2010).

All articles on Wiley Online Library ( include full details on how to cite the article.

15. Supporting Information. As a service to authors and readers, the Journal of Fish Biology will host supporting information online. Supporting Information files are hosted by the Publisher in the format supplied by the author and are not copy-edited by the Publisher. It is the responsibility of the author to supply Supporting Information in an appropriate file format and to ensure that it is accurate and correct. Authors should therefore prepare Supporting Information with the same rigour as their main paper, including adhesion to journal style (e.g. formatting of references). Supporting Information can be provided as separate files or as one combined file. Authors are discouraged from supplying very large files or files in non-standard file formats, both of which may reduce their use to the readership. Files should be prepared without line numbers or wide line spacing, and with all track-change edits accepted. Supporting Information files containing videos and animations are accepted.

16. Ethics. Contributors to the Journal of Fish Biology must read the Editorials on ethics in Journal of Fish Biology 68, 1-2 (2006) (available here) and Journal of Fish Biology 78, 393-394 (2011) (available here). They will be required to complete a questionnaire on submission of their paper, available for downloading here.

17. Reviews. Reviews should be concise, critical and creative. They should seek to stimulate topical debate and new research initiatives. Prospective authors are asked to submit a synopsis (two pages maximum) of their paper to an Associate Editor. The Editor-in-Chief can be consulted to advise on the appropriate Associate Editor to be approached. The synopsis should outline why the review is topical, its main points and objectives, and how it will stimulate debate and research. When the proposal has been accepted by an Associate Editor, he or she will invite the author to submit a manuscript, following the Instructions for Authors, within an agreed time limit.

18. Brief Communications. A Brief Communication may be concerned with any subject within the scope of the Journal of Fish Biology but should be confined to a single point or issue of progress, such as an unusual occurrence, an interesting observation, or a topical and timely finding. The manuscript must, however, have some relevance beyond the species or locality under consideration. To qualify for inclusion as a Brief Communication a paper must be short (five printed pages maximum; c. 2500 words). An abstract of not more than three sentences is required. No subheadings or subdivisions should be included. In other respects submitted manuscripts should comply with the instructions given above.

19. Letters. These must be very short (one and a half printed pages maximum; c. 750 words) and deal with single significant finding or point for discussion that needs rapid publication. Include title page, key words (note no Abstract), main text and references (maximum four) (no tables or figures).

20. Occasional Comments. Comments concerning recent published papers in the Journal may be considered by the Editor-in-Chief. The comments will be sent to the original authors to provide an opportunity for reply. Publication of the Comment and Reply will end the debate.

21. Acceptance of papers. Papers will normally be critically reviewed by two or more independent experts in the relevant discipline and evaluated for publication by the Editors, but the Editors may return to authors without review any manuscripts deemed to be of inadequate quality or inappropriate for the Journal of Fish Biology. The final decision to accept a paper will be made by the Editor-in-Chief.

22. Copyright and Online Open
Authors submitting a manuscript do so on the understanding that, if it is accepted for publication, the licence to publish the article, including the right to reproduce the article in all forms and media, shall be assigned exclusively to the FSBI. If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper. Authors are themselves responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce copyright material from other sources.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement
If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen
If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:

24. Proofs and offprints. Proofs are downloaded as a PDF file from a designated web site. Full details will be sent to the corresponding author by email. Therefore, a working email address must be provided. Proofs should be returned to the Managing Editor within 3 days of receipt. Free access to the final PDF offprint of the article will be available via author services only. Authors must therefore sign up for author services to access the article PDF offprint and enjoy the many other benefits the service offers. In addition to this electronic offprint, paper offprints may be ordered online. Full instructions for ordering paper offprints will be sent with the proofs. Any queries regarding offprints should be emailed to: Paper offprints are normally dispatched within 3 weeks of publication of the issue in which the paper appears. Please contact the publishers if offprints do not arrive; however, please note that offprints are sent by surface mail, so overseas orders may take up to 6 weeks to arrive.

25. Early View. Journal of Fish Biology is covered by Wiley-Blackwell’s Early View service. Early View articles are complete full-text articles published online in advance of their publication in a printed issue. Articles are therefore available as soon as they are ready, rather than having to wait for the next scheduled print issue. Early View articles are complete and final, and no changes can be made after online publication. They have been fully reviewed, revised and edited for publication, and the authors’ final corrections have been incorporated. Early View articles lack a volume, an issue and page numbers, and cannot be cited in the traditional way. Instead they have a DOI), which allows the article to be cited and tracked before it is allocated to an issue. After print publication, the DOI remains valid and can continue to be used to cite and access the article.

26. Author material archive policy. Please note that unless specifically requested, Wiley-Blackwell will dispose of all hard copy or electronic material 2 months after publication. If the return of any submitted material is required, the Managing Editor or Production Editor must be informed as soon as possible.

27. Queries. Contact the Managing Editor at