Journal : ICES Journal of Marine Science , vol. 59 , p. 421–437 , 2002
Publisher : Oxford University Press
International Standard Numbers
Printed : 1054-3139
Electronic : 1095-9289
Publication type : Academic article
Issue : 2
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This paper describes spatial, temporal and biotic patterns in the diet of Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius; hippoglossoides, Walbaum) sampled from three different areas of the Barents Sea, namely the Hopen Deep (nursery area), the Bear Island Channel and the continental slope (spawning ground), during April 1996 to January 1998. Percentage of empty stomachs was based on 3294 specimens, and the relative importance of prey groups was assessed using stomach contents from 486 specimens. Multivariate analyses (i.e. Correspondence Analysis and Canonical Correspondence Analysis) were applied to examine which variables could best account for dietary variation. Spatial (horizontal and vertical) and temporal components appeared to be most influential oil the variation in diet composition, whereas biotic variables (i.e. predator size, sex and maturity stage) appeared to be of less importance. It is proposed that regional and seasonal differences in diet composition arc caused by spatial and temporal variations in abundance and distribution of some of the major prey species, i.e. Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) and capelin (Mallotus villosus). On the slope there were also clear ontogenetic changes in diet; in smaller Greenland halibut (<50 cm) crustaceans and the cephalopod Gonatus fabricii were the prevailing prey, whereas for larger specimens teleosts and fish offal were the dominating components of the diet. Smaller Greenland halibut appeared to have been foraging at greater depths (>700 in) than the larger ones. (C) 2002 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.