Namig Mustafayev, a senior researcher at the Institute of Zoology of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), reported in mid-January that two previously-unlisted fish species have been discovered in the region.
Apparently the Stone moroko (Pseudorasbora parva) and Korean sharpbelly (Hemiculter leucisculus), were accidentally introduced some 30 years ago when herbivorous species were added to the country’s fauna.
According to the report, Stone moroko is now “widespread in almost all inland waters of Azerbaijan and in the Azerbaijani part of the Caspian Sea.” The Korean sharpbelly is prevalent “in the rivers of the Lankaran region, Mingachevir water reservoir, the lower parts of Kura and Araz rivers, (and) in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea from Absheron peninsula to Astara region.”
After the construction of hydro plants on the Kura River and the pollution of the Caspian Sea, fish farms and hatcheries were launched to restore fish reserves. The program was successful and now over 110 species inhabit the fresh water basins of Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea.