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Resource Ecology & Ecosystem Modeling Program

Fish Stomach Collection and Lab Analysis

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Fall 2014
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During the fourth quarter of 2014, the stomach contents of 3,024 groundfish were analyzed in the Food Habits Laboratory.  Data were error-checked and loaded into the AFSC Groundfish Food Habits database resulting in 23,842 added records.  Stomach samples were analyzed from a wide range of species from the Chukchi Sea (21 species), the Gulf of Alaska (3 species), and the eastern and northern Bering Sea (21 species).  The Chukchi Sea samples were collected during the SHELFZ survey, examining oceanographic processes and biological distributions of invertebrates, fishes, and zooplankton from the shoreline near Barrow (the northernmost point of Alaska) out into the deep waters of Barrow Canyon. 

In addition to stomach samples from groundfish, we analyzed bill-load samples from 129 tufted puffins and 28 horned puffins collected from breeding colonies on Buldir and Aitak Islands for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.  Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modeling (REEM) personnel participated in the Atka mackerel tag recovery cruise in the central and western Aleutian Islands where stomach samples were collected from 940 Atka mackerel and from 542 other fish (mostly rockfish).  Fisheries Observers also collected 81 stomach samples from arrowtooth flounder during fishing operations in the Gulf of Alaska and the eastern Bering Sea. 

REEM outreach activities included presentations of the REEM educational display and the fish food habits hands-on research activities to the OMI Budget staff visiting from NMFS Headquarters and field offices, and to a marine ecology class visiting from Nathan Hale High School.  Presentations were also given during the December 6th scientist spotlight event at the Pacific Science Center.

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



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