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Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling Program

Fish Stomach Collection and Lab Analysis

Research Reports
July-Aug-Sept 2013
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During the third quarter of 2013, Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling (REEM) program staff analyzed the contents of 1,816 groundfish stomachs from the 2012 Chukchi Sea samples and 2010 Northern Bering Sea samples.  Laboratory analysis was completed and the resulting data was error-checked and loaded into the AFSC Groundfish Food Habits database.  Analysis of stomach samples from the Aleutian Islands, Gulf of Alaska, and eastern Bering Sea has continued with and additional 1,446 records added to the AFSC Groundfish Food Habits database.

Groundfish stomach samples were collected during the AFSC’s  2013 bottom trawl surveys of the eastern Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and Chukchi Sea by AFSC personnel and also during commercial fisheries operations by fisheries observers.  Stomach sampling focused on only five species during the eastern Bering Sea groundfish survey– walleye pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific halibut, arrowtooth flounder, and Kamchatka flounder – and 5,594 stomach samples were collected.  In the Gulf of Alaska, Stomach Contents Analysis at Sea (SCANS) was performed on eight species resulting in preliminary diet data from 4,710 groundfish. Prey items that were not identifiable to the REEM minimum identification standard during SCANS were frozen and returned to the laboratory for future microscopic, and possibly genetic, examination.  In addition, stomach samples were collected and preserved for laboratory analysis from 1,359 Pacific halibut caught during the 2013 Gulf of Alaska survey.  Specimens from 25 species encountered during the survey of the Chukchi Sea were preserved for laboratory analysis of their stomach contents.  Fisheries observers collected 555 stomach samples from walleye pollock, arrowtooth flounder, and Pacific cod in the eastern Bering Sea and from arrowtooth flounder in the Aleutian Islands region. 

            By Troy Buckley, Geoff Lang, Mei-Sun Yang, Richard Hibpshman, Kimberly Sawyer, Caroline Robinson and Sean Rohan



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