Meaning of demersal in English:


Pronunciation /dɪˈməːs(ə)l/


  • (chiefly of fish) living close to the floor of the sea or a lake.

    Often contrasted with pelagic

    ‘demersal fish’
    • ‘The starkest fact highlighting the plight of fishing is that the amount of adult demersal fish - those living on the seabed - has fallen by 90 per cent since the early 1970s.’
    • ‘A small beginning has been made to developing the theory of metapopulations of demersal fishes, frequently in the context of reef fish management.’
    • ‘These fish have demersal eggs, but do not bury the eggs and do not attach them to specific substrates.’
    • ‘Groundfish are demersal fish species; such as cod, halibut, haddock, and pollock, that feed at or near the ocean floor.’
    • ‘In the winter they will fish for the demersal species and due to their small salmon quota it is no longer a major fishing option in the summer months.’


Late 19th century from Latin demersus (past participle of demergere ‘submerge, sink’, from de- ‘down’ + mergere ‘plunge’) + -al.