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Oceanographic factors influencing the distribution of South American fur seal, Arctocephalus australis around the Falkland Islands before the breeding season

  • Vladimir Laptikhovsky (a1)

Distribution of fur seals Arctocephalus australis has been studied in October 2007 on the western, southern and eastern Falkland shelves during the survey of spawning grounds of the red cod, Salilota australis. Fur seals presence/absence, numbers and sex were recorded at every oceanographic station. Animals were found foraging on the shelf edge south-west of the islands, in a productive zone with quasi-stationary eddies at a periphery of upwelling. It was also the zone of maximum abundance of lobster-krill, Munida spp.—an important food source of fur seals and aggregations of both red cod and blue whiting, Micromesistius australis. No fur seals were found in waters of the relative cold and saline Falkland Current as well as in the relatively warm, fresh and oxygen-rich waters of Argentine Drift. It allows supposing that position and extension of the foraging grounds are caused by oceanographic features determining distribution of prey species.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: V. Laptikhovsky, Falkland Islands Fisheries Department, FIPASS, PO Box 598, Stanley, Falkland Islands, FIQQ 1ZZ email:
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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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