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Fish in the diet of Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) at South Georgia during winter and spring

North, A.W.. 1996 Fish in the diet of Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) at South Georgia during winter and spring. Antarctic Science, 8 (2). 10.1017/S0954102096000223

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Abstract/Summary

The occurrence of fish in the diet of the Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) at Bird Island, South Georgia was investigated by analysis of fish otoliths in scats (faeces) collected during late May to early November 1983. Of the 55 scats examined, 49 contained fish remains, and 45 contained fish otoliths. Ten fish species were represented by 415 otoliths, and 33 otoliths were too digested to be identified unequivocally. Fish size was estimated from otolith size based on published allometric equations. Four coastal notothenioid fishes dominated the fish component of the diet: Champsocephalus gunnari and Gobionotothen gibberifrons each comprised about 40% of the total fish mass; Chaenocephalus aceratus was ranked third by mass and the smaller Lepidonotothen larseni occurred in one quarter of the scats but was of lower importance in terms of mass. The length-frequency distribution of C. gunnari landed by the commercial fishery in October 1982 to June 1983 is similar to that which comprised the bulk of the diet in the present study. Compared with recent studies on the fish component of the diet in the literature, the dominance of C. gunnari is generally similar, however, there was a greater proportion of G. gibberifrons during the 1983 winter and spring than reported for recent winters.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1017/S0954102096000223
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Pre 2000 programme
ISSN: 0954-1020
Date made live: 22 Nov 2016 09:16 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/515215

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