Press Release: 05/10/2017

North Sea fish and their remains – Kees (C.J) Camphuysen & Peter A. Henderson
A book to aid the identification of marine and estuarine fish in the North Sea
This guide published by Pisces Conservation Ltd (UK) and NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, helps consumers to make a more educated choice and provides scientists with knowledge of the natural resources within the North Sea, creating an awareness that is essential steps for sustainable fisheries and fish consumption in the future.

This book provides the authoritative fish identification source for almost 150 species, with colour images and B/W illustrations of each species, and detailed information on identity, distribution, food, life history and ecology. The most unique characteristic of this book is that marine ecologists Kees Camphuysen and Peter Henderson have added detailed information on the identification of fish remains such as fish bones, otoliths and scales.

Fish remains may be encountered when the diets of marine predators like whales, dolphins, seals, seabirds and predatory fish are studied during archaeological excavations or geological reconstructions. It is the first time that such a comprehensive overview of the smallest fish bones of North Sea fish species has been put in to print. In this book most specimens are photographed out of water and supported with line drawings showing the layout of the fins and body shape. The information on fish identification and life-histories in this book is based largely on experience gained by the UK Pisces team over nearly 40 years and follows Henderson’s 2015 work, Identification Guide to the Inshore Fish of the British Isles.

Camphuysen reorganized the text and changed the focus to the North Sea and the international Wadden Sea. The latter included information on seasonalities and trends in catch rates of fish entering the western Dutch Wadden Sea based on the constant effort ‘fish fyke’ sampling of NIOZ Texel that has been in operation since the 1960s.

The authors briefly describe the overall distribution, largely with reference to the recently-published and highly comprehensive “Fish atlas of the Celtic Sea, North Sea, and Baltic Sea” (Heessen et al. 2015). A comprehensive description and beautiful illustrations of fish remains were included, making this book truly unique. The information about the identification of fish remains is based on experience of the NIOZ and WMR Wageningen Marine Research institutes that have studied the North Sea diets of seabirds and marine mammals for over 30 years. This part of the book must be seen as an introduction for professional and amateur biologists, geologists and archaeologists alike, interested in the reconstruction of the use (as prey, or as food) or abundance (as geological deposits) of fish in historical times, or by certain piscivorous predators.

‘North Sea Fish and Their Remains’, ISBN 978-1-904690-65-8, can be purchased online from Pisces Conservation Ltd.
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Pages: 326
Price: £45

This website is intended to provide updates as more research on fish remains, species distribution or taxonomy becomes available, and to share far more detailed information on remains of key species than can be fitted into the book.

The book is intended for everyone with an interest in the identification of fish, including anglers, professional fishermen, fish merchants, naturalists, students, post-graduates and professional biologists, geologists and archaeologists.