Temperate Northern Pacific Region
The Temperate Northern Pacific comprises the North American and Asian shores of the Pacific Ocean and includes, as marginal seas, the Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Sea, the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea, and the Gulf of California. It is bordered in the north by the Arctic Ocean, while in the south it transitions into the various tropical marine regions of the Pacific, including the Tropical Eastern Pacific, Eastern Indo-Pacific, and Central Indo-Pacific.
Species and subspecies
The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is found along the coasts of the North Pacific, where it lives exclusively in nearshore marine environments. Originally estimated to number between 150,000 and 300,000, it was hunted extensively for its thick, insulating fur between 1741 and 1911, by which time the total population had fallen to just 1000–2000 living in a fraction of its former range. A subsequent international ban on hunting combined with conservation efforts and reintroduction programmes into previously populated areas has resulted in a remarkable comeback for the species, with it having now recolonized about two-thirds of its former range. Three subspecies are recognized, each with distinct geographical distributions. The Asian sea otter (E. l. lutris) is found in the western North Pacific from the Kuril Islands north of Japan to the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Commander Islands. The most ruthlessly hunted of the three forms, it was thought to have gone extinct in the early twentieth century. However, a small group was rediscovered in the Commander Islands, and by 1935 this colony had increased to between 600 and 700. The northern sea otter (E. l. kenyoni) was historically found from the Aleutian Islands to Prince William Sound in Alaska and along the Pacific coast of Canada into Oregon. It too was feared extinct until, in 1936, a colony was found in the Aleutian Islands and was immediately made part of a wildlife refuge. In 1971, 42 northern sea otters were captured in Alaska and released off the British Columbia coast. Since then, populations have continued to increase. The southern sea otter (E. l. nereis) was formerly distributed along the Pacific coast from Washington to Baja California. Hunting led to its disappearance off Oregon in 1876, and off California in 1915, when it was considered extinct. There was no further record of it until 1938, when single individuals began to appear almost yearly off Monterey in California. In 1938 a resident colony of about 94 sea otters was found there. From there it expanded southward, and in 1957 the range extended from Santa Barbara to Carmel Bay. Today it is found along much of the coast of central and southern California, where it remains vulnerable to potential oil spills.
The North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) is a large, thickset baleen whale that was, according to nineteenth-century whaling records and more recent Soviet catches, formerly distributed across both coastal and offshore waters of the northern Pacific. It was abundant around Japan, the north-western North Pacific, and in the Gulf of Alaska southward to about 50°N. Historically, it was one of the most overexploited whales of them all. Between 1846 and 1851 more than 300 ships were engaged in hunting this species off Kodiak Island alone, a concentration that soon led it to the verge of extinction in this area and shortly afterward in the whole of the eastern North Pacific. By 1910 it had become only a negligible part of the Japanese whale catch. In 1937 it was at last given protection, apparently at the last moment, by which time it had been reduced to only a few hundred. From the 1940s the population gradually increased, although between 1962 and 1968 it was once more subject to illegal Soviet whaling that is known to have killed at least 529 in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska and at least 132 others in the Sea of Okhotsk, with an additional 104 from unspecified areas (recently released documents, however, indicate that this toll may have been even higher). Today the species has the smallest known population of any whale, with just 30–35 surviving in the eastern North Pacific and 300 or so in the west. The survivors are known to occur during the summer months in the Okhotsk Sea, the north-western North Pacific including the coast of Kamchatka and the Commander Islands, the southeastern Bering Sea, the Aleutian Islands, and the northern Gulf of Alaska. During the winter they are (or were) found southward to the Sea of Japan, with rare records from the Taiwan Strait and the Bonin Islands in the west and from Hawaii and the Baja California Peninsula in the east. Unlike the right whales of the North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere, neither the past nor present coastal breeding grounds have ever been identified for this species.
Perrin’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon perrini) is known only from six stranding records, all originating along the southwestern coast of the United States (California). Hubbs’ beaked whale (M. carlhubbsi) is known mainly from a small number of strandings throughout the northern Pacific.
Sunamer’s narrow-ridged finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaorientalis sunameri) is confined to the coastal waters of eastern Asia from the Taiwan Strait north to Korea, with a disjunct population in the waters around Japan. It is threatened mainly by fisheries by-catch.
The Temperate Northern Pacific subpopulation of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nests along the coasts of Japan and western North America as far south as the Baja California Peninsula. Its marine habitat includes much of the northern Pacific Ocean.
The frog shark (Somniosus longus) is a very rare deepwater species known from fewer than a dozen specimens collected patchily from across the Pacific Ocean, although mainly in the region of Japan.
The Japanese roughshark (Oxynotus japonicus) is a rare species known only from a handful of specimens collected off the southern coast of Honshu, Japan.
The Taiwanese saddled carpetshark (Cirrhoscyllium formosanum) is known only from off the south-western coast of Taiwan, where it is threatened by fisheries by-catch.
The Japanese sawshark (Pristiophorus japonicus) occurs along the continental and insular shelves of Japan, the Korean Peninsula, and eastern China. The species is rarely caught, although it is not known whether it is naturally uncommon or has been depleted by fishing activities.
The flathead catshark (Apristurus macrorhynchus) is a naturally rare deep-water species known only from the coast of Honshu, Japan and from a few isolated seamounts in the north-western Pacific.
The Izu catshark (Scyliorhinus tokubee) is confined to the waters of the southern Izu Peninsula of Honshu, Japan, where it is taken as unutilized by-catch in gillnet flounder fisheries.
The lollipop catshark (Cephalurus cephalus) is a little-known, bottom-dwelling species from the deep waters of the Gulf of California and the southern Baja California Peninsula, where it may be threatened by by-catch from trawl fisheries.
The spotted swellshark (Cephaloscyllium maculatum) is known only from a single specimen collected from shallow waters off the eastern coast of Taiwan. The leopard-spotted swellshark (C. pardelotum) is known only from a single specimen taken off eastern Taiwan.
The Taiwanese angelshark (Squatina formosa) is a ray-like shark confined to the waters of the continental shelf off Taiwan. The Japanese angelshark (S. japonica) and the clouded angelshark (S. nebulosa) are both found in the continental and insular waters of the north-western Pacific. All are seriously threatened by by-catch from bottom trawling.
The broad-snout lanternshark (Etmopterus burgessi) is a naturally rare species confined to deep waters off the coast of Taiwan.
The whitefin dogfish (Centroscyllium ritteri) is known only from the insular slopes and seamounts off eastern Japan, where it is occasionally taken by deep-water trawls.
The Japanese velvet dogfish (Zameus ichiharai) is known only from Suruga Bay and adjacent deep waters on the southern coast of Honshu, Japan.
The viper dogfish (Trigonognathus kabeyai) is a rare deepsea species with a limited distribution in the waters around Japan, with a further single record from Hawaii.
The banded guitarfish (Zapteryx exasperata) is confined to the coastal waters of south-western United States, the Baja California Peninsula, and the Gulf of California, where it is threatened by loss of habitat and fishing activities.
Owston’s chimaera (Chimaera owstoni) is known only from a few specimens collected in deep waters off eastern Honshu, Japan.
The Japanese sleeper ray (Narke japonica) is a type of small electric ray found along the continental and insular shelves of Japan, the Korean Peninsula, and eastern China including Taiwan. It is threatened by fisheries by-catch.
The Chinese fanray (Platyrhina sinensis) is found in coastal waters of the north-western and west-central Pacific, where it is threatened by overfishing and by-catch.
The Cortez round stingray (Urobatis maculatus) is a small species found very patchily in the coastal waters of the Baja California Peninsula and the Gulf of California, where it is threatened by shrimp trawling by-catch. Although often discarded alive, fishermen avoid the stinger by cutting it off, in many cases amputating the tail and resulting in a high level of mortality.
The bigtail skate (Dipturus macrocauda) is confined to the continental and insular waters of the north-western Pacific, where it is possibly threatened by fishing pressure.
The Korean skate (Hongeo koreana) is known for certain only from a relatively small area off the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula, where it is a targeted fishery species.
The lead-hued skate (Notoraja tobitukai) is a small, deepwater species known from a few specimens collected between central Japan and Taiwan.
The mottled skate (Beringraja pulchra) occurs in shallow coastal waters of the north-western Pacific in the Sea of Okhotsk, the Sea of Japan, the Yellow and Bohai seas, and the East China Sea. Historically abundant, it has been much reduced by overfishing and by-catch.
The slimtail skate (Bathyraja longicauda) is known only from two localities off Peru and Chile, but may be more widespread along the continental slope.
The longtooth grouper (Epinephelus bruneus) is known only from the coastal waters off eastern and southern China. The Hong Kong grouper (E. akaara) is found off the coasts of Japan, the Korean Peninsula, and eastern and southern China. Both are threatened by overfishing.
The Gulf grouper (Mycteroperca jordani) is found over rocky reefs, kelp beds, and seamounts of the coastal eastern Pacific from the lower Baja California Peninsula and the Revillagigedo Islands though the Gulf of California. It is heavily exploited by recreational and small-scale commercial fisheries, including direct pressure on spawning aggregations.
The few-spined rockfish (Sebastes paucispinus) is found in the coastal waters of the north-eastern Pacific from Alaska to Baja California, where it is threatened by recreational and commercial fisheries. The Hokkaido rockfish (S. nivosus) is confined to the coastal waters of northern Japan.
The giant wreckfish (Stereolepis gigas) is, as its name suggests, an enormous species capable of reaching 2.5 m in length and a weight of up 360 kg. It appears to be naturally confined to the coastal eastern Pacific from California to the Baja California Peninsula and parts of the Gulf of California, where historically it was fairly common. Reports from the Sea of Japan appear to be based on misidentification. Long heavily exploited by commercial fisheries as well as sportfishermen, it is now seriously threatened although there are signs that it may be increasing in Californian waters owing to legal protection.
The Cortez barracuda (Sphyraena lucasana) is confined to the region of the Gulf of California, the Baja California Peninsula, and coastal south-western Mexico, where it is potentially threatened by overfishing.
The Sakhalin sturgeon (Acipenser mikadoi) is a marine and freshwater species historically found in the north-western Pacific, including the Bering Sea, from where it ascended coastal rivers in Russia, China, Japan, and the Korean Peninsula to spawn. The species has been seriously impacted by illegal fishing, pollution and, in particular, dam construction, and is currently known to spawn only within the lower Tumnin River and, rarely, the Koppi River, both in Russia.
The Monterrey Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus concolor) appears, at least historically, to have had a continuous range along the eastern coast of the Pacific from Monterey Bay, California south through the Baja California Peninsula and into the Gulf of California. The species began to decline during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries due to overexploitation, and since 1968 there have been only three records from the outer coast. It now appears to be entirely confined to the central and northern parts of the Gulf of California, where a commercial fishery is driving the population to the point of final collapse.
Matsubara’s seabream (Cheimerius matsubarai) appears to be entirely confined to deep reefs off the southern coast of Amami Island, in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.
The Okinawa seabream (Acanthopagrus sivicolus) is largely confined to brackish coastal waters in southern Japan and Taiwan, where it is threatened mainly by overfishing.
The Wintersteen drum (Umbrina wintersteeni) is known only from a few specimens collected along the southern coast of the Baja California Peninsula and in the southern Gulf of California.
The threadfin porgy (Evynnis cardinalis) is found in the coastal waters of the north-western Pacific from the Korean Peninsula and southern Japan to northern Vietnam and perhaps Indonesia. A popular food fish, it has been much reduced by overharvesting.
The Korean bonefish (Albula koreana) is known only from a few specimens collected along the south-eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula and the northern coast of Taiwan.
The Taiwanese soldierfish (Myripristis formosa) is known only from four collections off Taiwan.
The California scorpionfish (Scorpaena guttata) is a highly venomous species found along the eastern Pacific coast from northern California through the Baja California Peninsula, the island of Guadalupe, and into the Gulf of California. It is threatened mainly by sport fisheries, although it is also taken as a food fish in some areas.
The eyespot puffer (Takifugu chinensis) is found in the continental and insular waters of eastern China, the Korean Peninsula, and Japan. It is threatened by habitat destruction, overfishing and, possibly, the widespread release/escape of other aquacultured pufferfish species within its range. The purple puffer (T. variomaculatus) is confined to estuaries at the mouth of the Pearl River in south-eastern China.
The Japanese salmon (Oncorhynchus masou) is a highly important fisheries species that is widespread within the northwestern Pacific Ocean, where it is divided into a number of anadromous as well as landlocked subspecies. The masu salmon (O. m. masou) is found along the coasts of Korea and Japan, where it is threatened by overfishing and loss of its spawning sites.
Perry’s taimen (Hucho perryi) is a type of salmon found in the north-western Pacific in the region of Russia and Japan, from where it ascends coastal rivers to spawn (with some populations spending their entire lives in freshwater lakes). The species has been declining for over a century due to overfishing and loss of habitat, and is now considered to be seriously threatened.
Günther’s sculpin (Zesticelus bathybius) is known only from five specimens collected within Tosa Bay, on the southern coast of Honshu, Japan.
The Ryukyu sweetfish (Plecoglossus altivelis ryukyuensis) is an amphidromous species that breeds only in rivers within the Ryukyu Islands, from where they migrate to coastal waters.
The Chinese noodlefish (Salanx chinensis) and Cuvier’s noodlefish (S. cuvieri) are migratory freshwater and marine species known from the coastal areas and river drainages of south-eastern China and northern Vietnam. Both are likely threatened by overfishing, dam construction, and degradation of their spawning and nursery habitat through soil erosion and pollution.
The shortspine thornyhead (Sebastolobus alascanus) is fairly widespread in the northern Pacific, where it began to be commercially exploited in the 1960s. After undergoing significant declines it has been reported to have recovered somewhat.
Derjugin’s ronquil (Bathymaster derjugini) is confined to a small area off south-eastern Russia and the Kuril Islands, where it is threatened by coastal development and pollution.
The Baja flashlightfish (Phthanophaneron harveyi) is a bioluminescent species known only from four specimens collected off the lower Baja California Peninsula and the Gulf of California.
The California sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher) is a type of wrasse that occurs in coastal waters of the eastern Pacific from Monterey Bay to the Gulf of California. It is threatened by overfishing.
Bleeker’s wrasse (Halichoeres bleekeri) is found from Ceju Island south of the Korean Peninsula to southern Japan, where it may be threatened by coastal development.
The wide-banded cleaning goby (Elacatinus limbaughi) is known only from the south-eastern Gulf of California and central Mexico near the Tres Marías Islands. It is occasionally collected by aquarists owing to its bright colouration.
Four blennies of the genus (Paraclinus) are potentially threatened by coastal development and pollution. The topgallant blenny (P. altivelis) is known from a few specimens collected in the central and south-western Gulf of California, with a single specimen taken from the Gulf of Chiriquí in Panama. Walker’s blenny (P. walkeri) is confined to San Quintin Bay off the north-western coast of the Baja California Peninsula. The Magdalena blenny (P. magdalenae) is known only from a few specimens collected in the immediate vicinity of Magdalena Bay, on the south-western coast of the Baja California Peninsula. The leastfoot blenny (P. ditrichus) is known only from San Juanito Island, in the Marías Islands off the central-western coast of Mexico.
The Baja blenny (Labrisomus wigginsi) is confined to the Pacific coast of the central and southern Baja California Peninsula.
Shen’s triplefin blenny (Enneapterygius sheni) is known only from the southern tip of Taiwan, although it may range further south to offshore islands.
The Japanese blobfish (Ebinania brephocephala) is a little-known species confined to the southern coast of Japan.
The Japanese gissu (Pterothrissus gissu) is a rare and little-known deep-sea fish from the north-western Pacific.
The Oregon snailfish (Paraliparis megalopus) is known only from the Cascadia and Tufts abyssal plains off the coast of Oregon, United States.
Four eel-like fish of the genus Myxine are threatened by overfishing. The Hyalonema hagfish (M. paucidens) is confined to a small area off the eastern coast of Honshu, Japan. Kuo’s hagfish (M. kuoi) and the Formosa hagfish (M. formosana) are both known only from off the south-western tip of Taiwan. Garman’s hagfish (M. garmani) is found off the eastern and southern coasts of Japan.
Mok’s hagfish (Paramyxine moki) is known only from Sagami Bay off southern Honshu, Japan. Atam’s hagfish (P. atami) is confined to coastal south-eastern Japan. Walker’s hagfish (P. walkeri) is known only from two disjunct localities off the eastern and western coasts of Honshu, Japan. The Taiwan hagfish (P. taiwanae) is known only from a single locality off the north-eastern coast of Taiwan. Nelson’s hagfish (P. nelsoni), Fernholm’s hagfish (P. fernholmi), and Chen’s hagfish (P. cheni) are all confined to the south-western coast of Taiwan, where they are threatened by habitat destruction and by-catch due to extensive trawling.
The red hagfish (Eptatretus rubicundus) is known only from a single specimen collected off the north-eastern coast of Taiwan. The shorthead hagfish (E. mcconnaugheyi) is known only from two disjunct areas off the north-western and south-eastern coasts of the Baja California Peninsula.
The orange pipefish (Maroubra yasudai) is known only from the Izu Oceanic Park off the south-eastern coast of Honshu, Japan.
The Honshu eelpout (Zoarchias neglectus) is an eel-like fish confined to tidepools in a small area of eastern coastal Honshu, Japan.
The Emperor Seamount Chain
The Emperor Seamounts contain over 80 identified undersea volcanoes stretching over 5800 km from the Aleutian Trench in the far north-western Pacific to the Hawaiian Islands.
The highfin dogfish (Centroscyllium excelsum) is a type of deep-water sleeper shark known only by a few specimens collected from the Emperor Seamount chain.
The Bering Sea
The Bering Sea (Béringovo móre in Russian) is a marginal sea of the Northern Pacific Ocean. It forms, along with the Bering Strait, the divide between Eurasia and the Americas, and consists of a deep-water basin which rises through a narrow slope into the shallower waters above the continental shelves.
Steller’s sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) was one of the most remarkable animals that ever existed. When in 1741 the Danish-born navigator Vitus Bering was shipwrecked on the island that today bears his name, he discovered three mammal species: the sea otter (Enhydra lutris), Steller’s sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), and the giant sea cow. It was fortunate for science that Bering was accompanied by a German zoologist, G. W. Steller, for he was the only trained scientist who actually saw these extraordinary creatures in life. According to Steller’s extensive report it was a true giant, attaining a length of up to 9 m and a weight of 8–10 tonnes. As all other living sirenians are tropical, it was a surprise to the scientific world that such an animal could survive so far north. Many zoologists were inclined to attribute Steller’s account to imagination, but in 1883 a number of skeletons collected at Bering Island confirmed the existence. At the time of its discovery the giant sea cow was apparently restricted to the shallow seas around the Commander Islands, which include Bering and Copper islands, off the eastern coast of Kamchatka. In prehistoric times it ranged much further across the North Pacific, where it was no doubt known to aboriginal people. Being very similar to dugongs and manatees in structure and habits, the giant sea cow was very vulnerable to human persecution. Still relatively common within their limited range it represented an enormous supply of meat, and man soon began to slaughter them. During the intensive hunting of sea otters and fur seals in the Aleutians in the eighteenth century, sea cows were killed in high numbers. It has long been held that the species had been completely exterminated by 1768, only 27 years after its discovery. However, it appears to have held on, at least in very small numbers and in remote areas, a little while longer. Accounts from hunts in 1779 and 1780 have been discovered that mention the species, and the American naturalist Lucien Turner reported that the natives of Attu Island sometimes hunted sea cows into the nineteenth century. Other reports followed sporadically as recently as the 1960s, although it seems likely that these were misidentifications with female narwhals (Monodon monoceros) or northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris).
The smallplate sculpin (Stelgistrum beringianum) is known only from a couple of specimens collected from around the Aleutian Islands in the early twentieth century.
The wrinkle-jaw snailfish (Prognatholiparis ptychomandibularis) is known only from a single individual collected near Seguam Island, in the Aleutian Islands.
The Sea of Okhotsk
The Sea of Okhotsk (Okhótskoye móre in Russian) is located between Siberia to the west and north, the Kamchatka Peninsula to the east, the Kuril Islands to the south-east, and Hokkaido to the south. Owing to a large amount of freshwater entering from the Amur River it is typically covered with ice floes in winter.
The Okhotsk sculpin (Myoxocephalus tuberculatus) is known only from the Sea of Okhotsk, where it is potentially threatened by overfishing and pollution.
Meder’s snailfish (Careproctus mederi) is endemic to the Sea of Okhotsk, where it appears to be rare.
The Sea of Japan
The Sea of Japan is located between the Japanese archipelago, Sakhalin, the Korean Peninsula, and the Russian mainland. Like the Mediterranean Sea it has almost no tides due to its nearly complete enclosure from the Pacific Ocean, and it has no large islands, bays, or capes.
The Sado eelpout (Lycodes sadoensis) is known only from a single specimen collected from the Sea of Japan.
The East China Sea
The East China Sea is located off the eastern coast of China. It is bordered by the Yellow Sea to the north, by Kyushu and the Ryukyu Islands to the east, and Taiwan to the south.
The shortnose demon catshark (Apristurus internatus) is known only from two specimens collected from the East China Sea.
The East China legskate (Anacanthobatis donghaiensis) is known only from a single locality in the deep waters northwest of Taiwan.
The Japanese worm-eel (Coloconger japonicus) is known only from deep waters of the East China Sea.
The Yellow Sea
The Yellow Sea is located between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula, and can be considered a north-western extension of the East China Sea. It is so-called for the phenomenon whereby fine sand grains from Gobi Desert sand storms descend annually from the north, temporarily turning the water surface a golden yellow colour.
The Korean rockfish (Sebastes koreanus) is known only from a few specimens collected from the Yellow Sea.
The Gulf of California
The Gulf of California or Sea of Cortez (Golfo de California or Mar de Cortés in Spanish) is a marginal sea of the North Pacific that separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland. One of the most diverse seas on the planet, depth soundings range from fording levels at the estuary near Yuma, Arizona, to in excess of 3000 m in its deepest parts.
The Gulf of California harbour porpoise or vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is the smallest and most seriously threatened cetacean. Endemic to the northern part of the Gulf of California, the population was estimated at approximately 600 in 1997, below 100 in 2014, 60 in 2015, 30 in 2016, and only 12–15 in 2018. The cause of this catastrophic decline has been largely attributed to by-catch from the illegal gillnet fishery for the totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi). A last-minute protective housing and captive-breeding programme involving sea pens may be this species’ only hope for survival.
The Cortez ray (Raja cortezensis) is confined to the western Gulf of California.
The totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi) is a large marine fish that can reach up to 2 m in length and up to 100 kg in weight. Confined to parts of the Gulf of California, it is seriously threatened by water diversion from its spawning grounds in the Colorado River delta as well as by overfishing. The species is greatly prized for its meat and swim bladder, which is considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine.
The Cortez hake (Merluccius hernandezi) is a cod-like fish endemic to the deeper waters of the Gulf of California.
The amigo stardrum (Stellifer wintersteenorum) is known only from a few specimens collected from the eastern Gulf of California.
The Gulf of California rockfish (Sebastes peduncularis) is known only from two specimens collected in the north-central Gulf of California.
The Gulf of California weakfish (Cynoscion othonopterus) is known only from a few areas of the northern and central Gulf of California, where it is threatened by overfishing. Moreover, juveniles are dependent upon river mouths for nurseries, the largest of which (the Colorado River) has ceased to flow.
The delta silverside (Colpichthys hubbsi) is confined to the uppermost part of the Gulf of California and the Colorado River delta, where it is threatened by loss of habitat and shrimp aquaculture.
Walker’s jawfish (Opistognathus walkeri) is known only from the central-western Gulf of California.
The enigmatic goby (Evermannia longipinnis) is known only from a single imprecise locality thought to be in the north-western Gulf of California.
The rubble goby (Chriolepis minutillus) is patchily distributed in the central-western Gulf of California.
The bright goby (Ilypnus luculentus) is a rare species known only from the Gulf of California.
The secret goby (Pycnomma semisquamatum) is confined to shallow reefs in the Gulf of California.
The scalybelly blenny (Starksia lepidogaster) is known only from a few specimens collected from rocky reefs off Cleopha Island, in the Marías Islands, in 1961.
The Cortez pike-blenny (Chaenopsis coheni) is known only from a few specimens collected from the Gulf of California and Ángel de la Guarda Island. It has not been recorded since 1965 despite survey work.
The elusive signal blenny (Emblemaria walkeri) is known only from a few specimens collected in the western and central-eastern Gulf of California.
The hidden blenny (Cryptotrema seftoni) is known only from a deep rocky reef off the northern end of Guardian Angel Island, in the northern Gulf of California, where it was last collected in 1952.
The shortjaw mudsucker (Gillichthys seta) is a rare species found patchily in tide pools and shallows of the northern Gulf of California.
The Cortez pipefish (Syngnathus carinatus) is confined to estuarine habitats and beaches in the northern Gulf of California, where it is potentially threatened by coastal development.
Byrne’s snake-eel (Ethadophis byrnei) is known only from a single specimen collected from a sandbank in the northeastern Gulf of California.
The white-ring garden eel (Heteroconger canabus) is known only from sandy slopes near reefs in the south-western Gulf of California.
Anthropogenic effects on the fauna
In recent historical time (i.e. since ad 1500), the Temperate Northern Pacific Region has lost at least 1 species of vertebrate (a mammal). In addition, there are 113 species/5 subspecies currently threatened with extinction (that is to say, either Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List, as well as certain forms either listed as Data Deficient or Not Assessed but which are clearly at some risk of extinction). Of these, 4 species/3 subspecies are mammals, and 109 species/2 subspecies are marine fish.