Feeding ecology of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in North Carolina: diet, daily ration, and consumption of Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus)

Butler, Christopher M. and Rudershausen, Paul J. and Buckel, Jeffrey A. (2010) Feeding ecology of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in North Carolina: diet, daily ration, and consumption of Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus). Fishery Bulletin, 108(1), pp. 56-69.

[img] PDF (The document's language is English .) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (452Kb)
Official URL: http://fishbull.noaa.gov/1081/butler.pdf

Abstract

Diet, gastric evacuation rates, daily ration, and population-level prey demand of bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) were estimated in the continental shelf waters off North Carolina. Bluefin tuna stomachs were collected from commercial fishermen during the late fall and winter months of 2003–04, 2004–05, and 2005–06. Diel patterns in mean gut fullness values were used to estimate gastric evacuation rates. Daily ration determined from mean gut fullness values and gastric evacuation rates was used, along with bluefin tuna population size and residency times, to estimate population-level consumption by bluefin tuna on Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus). Bluefin tuna diet (n= 448) was dominated by Atlantic menhaden; other teleosts, portunid crabs, and squid were of mostly minor importance. The time required to empty the stomach after peak gut fullness was estimated to be ~20 hours. Daily ration estimates were approximately 2% of body weight per day. At current western Atlantic population levels, bluefin tuna predation on Atlantic menhaden is minimal compared to predation by other known predators and the numbers taken in commercial harvest. Bluefin tuna appear to occupy coastal waters in North Carolina during winter to prey upon Atlantic menhaden. Thus, changes in the Atlantic menhaden stock status or distribution would alter the winter foraging locations of bluefin

Item Type: Article
Title: Feeding ecology of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in North Carolina: diet, daily ration, and consumption of Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus)
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Butler, Christopher M.
Rudershausen, Paul J.
Buckel, Jeffrey A.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Fishery Bulletin
Volume: 108
Number: 1
Page Range: pp. 56-69
Date: 2010
ISSN: 0090-0656
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Ecology
Fisheries
Item ID: 8767
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2012 09:01
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2012 09:01
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/8767

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...