Round goby

Last changed: 02 December 2021
Round Goby caught in testfishing with nets.

Round goby is an invasive non-indigenous species transported from the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea by shippingstraffic to the Baltic Sea. 1990 a few individuals were discovered in the Gdansk bay, Poland. From being single individuals they are now dominatinmg the coastal fish fauna in the area. In 2008 the species was first reported in Sweden, in Karlskrona archipelago and now it is also established in Gothenburg, Visby and the Stockholm archipelago with the northernmost finding in 2020 in Gävle in southern Bothnian Bay.

The round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) is a fish species originating from the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea and it probably arriving by ballast water to the Baltic Sea. The round goby is an invasive species with fast reproduction and high tolerance for varying environmental conditions. There is a risk that it might compete with other native bottom dwelling species like black goby, eelpout and flounder.

Characteristics of round goby

Round goby (Neogobius melanostomus). Male in black spawning dress and female with the characteristic, for both sexes, black spot on the anterior dorsal fin. The robust head is another typical feature. Like all gobids the species has fused breast fins.

Report findings of round goby!

Concurrent with its increase in abundance and distribution in the Baltic Sea the risk increases that the species will become established at more places in Sweden. You can help preventing this by reporing  your sightings at or

Do not confuse round goby with native species...

like eelpout which has a fused dorsal fin and no suction disk. Or with other native gobids that have suction discs but no black spot on the anterior dorsal fin and not so robust head and seldom reaches lengths above 10 cm in the Baltic Sea.


Ann-Britt Florin, Head of Division
Department of Aquatic Resources, Institute of Coastal Research, SLU, +46 10 478 41 22