Presence of the Non-Indigenous Fish Species, Gibel Carp, Carassius gibelio (Family: Cyprinidae) in Basrah Province Freshwater Systems, Iraq

 Laith A. Jawad1, Abbas Al-Faisal2 and Mustafa Al-Mukhtar



1 Marine Science and Fisheries Centre, Ministry of Fisheries Wealth, Sultanate of Oman, P.O. Box 427, Postal Code 100 Muscat; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

2 Marine Science Centre, University of Basra, Basra-Iraq



Investigations conducted in the southern Iraq freshwater systems in Basrah Province allowed the authors to collect the gibel carp, Carassius gibelio (Bloch, 1782). This finding constitutes the first record of C. gibelio from the freshwater systems in Lower Mesopotamia. Finally, possible reasonable actions are proposed related to the exploitation of C. gibelio stocks and suggestions are made for the protection of native fish species and their ecosystems

Keywords:  Carassius gibelio, first record, Iraq freshwater systems, conservation implications, protective measures




The gibel carp, C. gibelio (Bloch, 1782), is now found in freshwater systems, ponds and lakes with a wide geographic distribution from northern Europe to Asia (Jiang et al., 1983; Abramenko et al., 1998; Tarakan et al., 2012). The records of C. gibelio in some countries may have occurred much earlier, but were delayed in other countries as in the case of Iraq. This might be mainly due to the species' similarity to the native crucian carp C. carassius. The documentation on the exotic species is important in order to track their dispersal and appraise threats to native species, endangered species and ecosystems.

The objective of the present study is to confirm the occurrence of C. gibelio (Bloch, 1782) in a new locality in Iraq.

Materials and methods

During the period October-November 2011, a total of 30 adult specimens of C. gibelio, ranging from 194 to 273 mm in total length (TL) (Fig. 1), were captured using cast nets in a water body about 20 km southeast of Basrah City (Figure 2). All the available specimens were examined fresh, photographed and identified according to Kottelat and Freyhof (2007). All morphometric and meristic characters were taken following Copp and Kováč (2003) and measurements recorded to the lowest millimetre (mm) using a digital calliper, as shown in Table 1. The specimens of C. gibelio were deposited in the fish collection of the Marine Science Centre, University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq.




Figure 1: Carassius gibelio, 265 mm total length

Figure 2:Sampling location where the fish specimens were collected

Table 1: Morphometric measurements and meristic counts of C. gibelio from Basrah Province waters