The diet of whiting Merlangius merlangus in the western Baltic Sea

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Abstract

The diet of whiting Merlangius merlangus in the western Baltic Sea was investigated and compared to the diet in the southern North Sea. Clupeids were important prey in both areas, but especially in the western Baltic Sea where they constituted up to 90% of the diet of larger individuals. Gobies, brown shrimps and polychaetes were the main prey of juveniles in the western Baltic Sea, while a wider range of species were consumed in the North Sea. The shift to piscivory occurred at smaller sizes in the western Baltic Sea and the fish prey consumed was proportionately larger than in the southern North Sea. Estimates of prey abundance and food intake of M. merlangus are required to evaluate its predatory significance in the western Baltic Sea, but its diet suggests that it could be just as significant a fish predator here as in the southern North Sea
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Volume88
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1965-1988
ISSN0022-1112
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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