​Fish abound in Scottish waters. There is an incredible diversity of species in our rivers, lochs and the sea.

Scotland’s freshwater fish species use a remarkable range of life-history strategies to survive in varied habitats from pools to large lochs. Native fish species are small in number but great in their diversity – ranging from the sea-going Atlantic salmon to the rare dwarf river lamprey.

Scottish territorial waters support about 250 sea fish species, in part thanks to the very varied habitats and conditions that occur here. Among them is the world’s second largest fish – the basking shark – which is longer and heavier than a double-decker bus. Some sea fish species remain a mystery and innovative research helps us to get to know them better.

Those sea fish species most important to our marine natural heritage are on Scotland’s list of priority marine features.

Freshwater fisheries and angling help to support our rural communities, and many sea fish are commercially valuable.

Find out more

Read our guidance for planners and developers.

Related links

NBN Atlas Scotland

National History Museum

The Marine Life Information Network

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