[MARMAM] Publication: Food habits of Sowerby's beaked whales

Frederick Wenzel - NOAA Federal frederick.wenzel at noaa.gov
Fri Nov 8 06:50:05 PST 2013

Dear list members,

My colleagues and I are happy to announce our recent publication:

Wenzel, F.W., P. T. Polloni, J. E. Craddock, D. P. Gannon, J. R. Nicolas,
A. J. Read, P. E. Rosel. 2013. Food habits of Sowerby’s beaked whales,
bidens*, taken in the western North Atlantic pelagic drift gillnet fishery.
Fishery Bulletin 111(4):381-389.


We describe the food habits of the Sowerby’s beaked whale (*Mesoplodon
bidens*) from observations of 10 individuals taken as bycatch in the
pelagic drift gillnet fishery for Swordfish (*Xiphias gladius*) in the
western North Atlantic and 1 stranded individual from Kennebunk, Maine. The
stomachs of 8 bycaught whales were intact and contained prey. The diet of
these 8 whales was dominated by meso- and benthopelagic fishes that
composed 98.5% of the prey items found in their stomachs and cephalopods
that accounted for only 1.5% of the number of prey. Otoliths and jaws
representing at least 31 fish taxa from 15 families were present in the
stomach contents. Fishes, primarily from the families Moridae (37.9% of
prey), Myctophidae (22.9%), Macrouridae (11.2%), and Phycidae (7.2%), were
present in all 8 stomachs. Most prey were from 5 fish taxa: Shortbeard
Codling (*Laemonema barbatulum*) accounted for 35.3% of otoliths, Cocco’s
Lanternfish (*Lobianchia gemellarii*) contributed 12.9%, Marlin-spike (*Nezumia
bairdii*) composed 10.8%, lanternfishes (*Lampanyctus *spp.) accounted for
8.4%; and Longfin Hake (*Phycis chesteri*) contributed 6.7%. The mean
number of otoliths per stomach was 1196 (range: 327–3452). Most of the fish
prey found in the stomachs was quite small, ranging in length from 4.0 to
27.7 cm. We conclude that the Sowerby’s beaked whales that we examined in
this study fed on large numbers of relatively small meso- and benthopelagic
fishes that are abundant along the slope and shelf break of the western
North Atlantic.

A PDF may be obtained from Fishery Bulletin


Or requests for reprints can be sent to: Frederick.Wenzel at noaa.gov



Frederick Wenzel

Protected Species Branch

NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center

166 Water Street

Woods Hole, MA 02543

Frederick.Wenzel at noaa.gov
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/marmam/attachments/20131108/d9ca4e8b/attachment.html>

More information about the MARMAM mailing list