The importance of capelin as prey for cod has long been known (Thompson, 1943; and see Lilly (1987) for a review); however, no studies have been conducted on how the highly dynamic seasonal and yearly variations in capelin abundance affect cod diet. We studied the occurrence of capelin in cod stomachs in relation to the relative abundance of capelin at Witless Bay, Newfoundland (47°15’N 52°46’W), during June, July and August, 1982-1984. The mean number of capelin per stomach and the per cent occurrence of stomachs containing capelin were determined for each collection of stomachs. A total of 680 stomachs were examined. Cod were sampled from those caught in gillnets by fishermen and averaged 66 cm ± 8 (s.d.) in 1983 and 62 cm ± 8 (s.d.) in 1984. Relative abundance of capelin in the local habitat was determined by conducting hydroacoustic surveys around Gull Island in Witless Bay, the same area where cod were collected for stomach content analysis. Only hydroacoustic surveys conducted within three days of cod stomach collections were analyzed. Further details of hydroacoustic surveys including quantifications of acoustic echograms are described in Piatt (1989).
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Seasonal and annual variation in the diet of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) in relation to the abundance of capelin (Mallotus villosus) off eastern Newfoundland, Canada|
|Series title||ICES Journal of Marine Science|
|Contributing office(s)||Alaska Science Center|
|Other Geospatial||Witless Bay|