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Marine Life

Explore the variety of marine life New York has to offer!

With a variety of saltwater habitats from the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island Sound, New York Bay, Hudson River, and small embayments speckling the coast, many species of fish, crabs, mussels, clams, sea turtles, whales, jellyfish and other creatures may lurk in New York's waters.

Without getting your feet wet, you can start exploring New York's marine life below!

Explore New York's Marine Fish

Bluefish and striped bass feeding on a school of menhaden.

Surrounding a school of menhaden, bluefish and striped bass begin their feeding frenzy and cause the water to "boil."
~Photo courtesy of Kelly M. Hebert~

Explore New York's Marine Mollusks (like mussels, clams, oysters, and even squids!)

Bay scallop

Lying between blades of eelgrass, a bay scallop feeds on small microscopic plants carried by the water currents and a hard clam burrows in the muddy shores.
~Photo courtesy of Scott Hughes~

Explore New York's Marine Crustaceans (like crabs, shrimps, lobsters) and the Horseshoe Crab

An American lobster waits for a meal

American lobsters hide along New York's rocky shores and wait patiently for prey to wander too close to their strong claws.
~Photo by Christopher LaPorta, NYSDEC~

Loggerhead turtle.

Sea turtles like this loggerhead glide up the Gulf Stream current and arrive in New York during the summer to feed on tasty crustaceans.
~Photo courtesy of Riverhead Foundation~

Explore New York's Marine Mammals (like whales, seals, and sea lions)

humpback whale as it begins to breach

In the summer, humpback whales migrate to their feeding grounds in the North Atlantic near New York, consuming up to 3,000 lbs of small fish per day.
~Photo by Jim Clayton, NYSDEC ~

Marine Photography

Do you have a great snapshot of New York's marine life? Consider sharing it with the DEC by sending it to the Bureau of Marine Resources by email. We will feature our top picks on our website! Please include photographer's name and the date and location that the photograph was taken.


More about Marine Life:

  • Marine Fish - List of fish species commonly found in New York's waters.
  • Mollusks - A list of common marine clams found in New York's coastal waters.
  • Crustaceans - Information on common crustaceans like crabs, lobsters, and shrimps found in New York's marine waters.
  • Marine Mammals - A list of marine mammals that visit New York's waters
  • Sea Turtles - A list of New York's sea turtles that frequently visit our waters.
  • Hudson and Delaware Marine Fisheries - DEC manages marine fish that live in the Hudson River
  • Contact for this Page
  • Division of Marine Resources
    205 North Belle Mead Road, Suite 1
    East Setauket, New York 11733
    631-444-0430
    Send us an email
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  • Page applies to NYS Marine Costal District