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Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling Program

Trophic Interactions Sampling and Analysis

Research Reports
Spring 2015
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During the second quarter of 2015, Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling (REEM) program staff analyzed the stomach contents of 1,299 groundfish. The resulting data were error-checked and loaded into the AFSC Groundfish Food Habits database resulting in 2,450 added records.  The majority of the samples were from 20 groundfish species sampled in the Gulf of Alaska region, including nine species of rockfish.  The rockfish stomach samples and 48 zooplankton samples were processed as part of the North Pacific Research Board project “Seasonal habitat use and productivity of three commercially important rockfish species in the Gulf of Alaska.”  In addition, 845 regurgitation samples from four species of seabirds were analyzed as part of a scientific partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  Organisms in nine benthic grab samples were identified and enumerated for an Essentitial Fish Habitat study of juvenile flatfish habitat quality in the eastern Bering Sea, and photographs of these organisms are being taken to supplement the REEM program’s prey identification references. 

Fishery observers did not collect stomach samples during the spring, but seven buckets of samples were returned during the second quarter.  In collaboration with the REFM Division’s Fisheries Interaction Team, 1,080 stomach samples from Atka mackerel and 1,336 stomach samples from other species were collected in the Aleutian Islands region during the Atka mackerel tag recovery survey, conducted in April and May of this year.

The REEM program’s Stomach Examiner's Tool, introduced in earlier quarterly reports, has been published and can now be found on the
AFSC website.  

The program’s outreach activities included a tour of the Trophic Interactions Laboratory for Ballard High School students visiting the AFSC, and presentations of the REEM program’s Food Habits educational display and the fish food habits hands-on activity for the Sand Point Elementary fifth grade class.  Displays were prepared for STEM students from Metlakatla, Alaska and a Nathan Hale Marine Science class, but last minute scheduling conflicts required them to cancel.  We hope to have another chance to host them.

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

 

 

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