Fish diversity is high in this ecoregion, reflecting its wide latitudinal dimension. The pelagic habitat is mainly dominated by sardine, anchovy, mackerel, horse mackerel, and blue-whiting Micromesistius poutassou. Some migratory species also appear in specific periods, such as tuna species (albacore Thunnus alalunga and bluefin Thunnus thynnus), which feed upon smaller pelagic fish. Hake is the most abundant predator species in the demersal community. Anglerfish, megrim, and sole are more abundant in the northern part of the ecoregion. Cold-water species such as whiting Merlangius merlangus and pollack Pollachius pollachius only occur north of Portugal. Skates, sharks, and deep-sea fish occur over the continental slope and in the deeper parts of this ecoregion. Trends in fishing pressure and stock size are presented in the ‘Selective extraction of species’ section.
Threatened and declining fish and shellfish species in the Bay of Biscay and Iberian Coast ecoregion according to OSPAR: