[MARMAM] New Publication

Bree Witteveen bhwitteveen at alaska.edu
Thu Sep 11 09:29:07 PDT 2014

Dear Colleagues,
We are pleased to announce the publication of the following article:

Witteveen, B.H., De Robertis, A., Guo, L., and Wynne, K.M. Using dive 
behavior and active acoustics to assess prey partitioning by fin and 
humpback whales near Kodiak Island, Alaska. Marine Mammal Science 

Near the Kodiak Archipelago, fin (Balaenoptera physalus) and humpback 
(Megaptera novaeangliae) whales frequently overlap spatially and 
temporally. The Gulf Apex Predator-prey study (GAP) investigated the 
prey use and potential prey partitioning between these sympatric species 
by combining concurrent analysis of vertical whale distribution with 
acoustic assessment of pelagic prey. Acoustic backscatter was classified 
as consistent with either fish or zooplankton. Whale dive depths were 
determined through suction cup tags. Tagged humpback whales (n = 10) 
were most often associated with distribution of fish, except when 
zooplankton density was very high. Associations between the dive depths 
of tagged fin whales (n = 4) and the vertical distribution of either 
prey type were less conclusive. However, prey assessment methods did not 
adequately describe the distribution of copepods, a potentially 
significant resource for fin whales. Mean dive parameters showed no 
significant difference between species when compared across all surveys. 
However, fin whales spent a greater proportion of dive time in the 
foraging phase than humpbacks, suggesting a possible difference in 
foraging efficiency between the two. These results suggest that humpback 
and fin whales may target different prey, with the greatest potential 
for diet overlap occurring when the density of zooplankton is very high.

The article can be access via 
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mms.12158/full or by 
requesting an electronic reprint from bree.witteveen at alaska.edu.

Thank you,
Bree Witteveen

Briana H. Witteveen
Research Assistant Professor
University of Alaska Fairbanks
School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Marine Advisory Program
Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center
118 Trident Way
Kodiak, AK 90615

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