Limited information exists on the marine diet of the Atlantic sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus. We examined the food habits of 275 Atlantic sturgeon (total length, 106-203 cm) caught in the commercial fishery off the coast of New Jersey. Stomachs were provided by fishermen. Significantly more stomachs were empty in the spring than in the fall. Sand and organic debris were a major component in the stomachs (26.3-75.4% by weight). Polycheates were the primary pre group consumed, although the isopod Politolana conchorum was the most important individual prey eaten. Mollusks and fish contributed little to the diet. Some prey taxa (i.e., polychaetes, isopods, amphipods) exhibited seasonal variation in importance in the diet of Atlantic sturgeon. Identification of the offshore diet of Atlantic sturgeon is an important step in developing a better understanding of the life history requirements and marine ecology of this species.
Additional publication details
Food habits of Atlantic sturgeon off the central New Jersey coast