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The diet and trophic ecology of anglerfish Lophius piscatorius at the Shetland Islands, UK

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2005

C.H. Laurenson
Affiliation:
North Atlantic Fisheries College, Port Arthur, Scalloway, Shetland, UK
I.G. Priede
Affiliation:
Oceanlab, Newburgh, Aberdeenshire, UK

Abstract

The diet of anglerfish (Lophius piscatorius), based on the analysis of stomach contents, was investigated in the Shetland Islands. Samples were obtained during trawling for sandeel (Ammodytidae species) and demersal trawling when mainly whitefish (gadoids) are targeted. This allowed the diets of samples collected from different areas and at different times to be compared. The diets in different length groups were also compared and niche breadth investigated.

A wide range of prey types, mainly fish, were recorded but the main prey was Norway pout (Trisopterus esmarkii) and lesser sandeel (Ammodytes marinus). Diet composition varied seasonally. In samples collected during whitefish trawling the occurrence of empty stomachs decreased from the first to the third quarters and generally increased with increasing anglerfish size. Empty stomachs occurred less frequently in samples collected from areas where sandeel fishing occurred compared to areas where whitefish trawling occurred.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2005 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

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