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NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-164

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Food habits of groundfishes in the Gulf of Alaska in 1999 and 2001


 A total of 7,899 stomachs from 40 species, walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma), Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus), arrowtooth flounder (Atheresthes stomias), Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis), sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria), spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias), big skate (Raja binoculata), Bering skate (Bathyraja interrupta), Alaska skate (Bathyraja parmifera), longnose skate (Raja rhina), eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus), shortfin eelpout (Lycodes brevipes), black eelpout (Lycodes diapterus), wattled eelpout (Lycodes palearis), giant grenadier (Coryphaenoides pectoralis), rougheye rockfish (Sebastes aleutianus), Pacific ocean perch (Sebastes alutus), redbanded rockfish (Sebastes babcocki), shortraker rockfish (Sebastes borealis), dusky rockfish (Sebastes variabilis), sharpchin rockfish (Sebastes zacentrus), shortspine thornyhead (Sebastolobus alascanus), Atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus monopterygius), spinyhead sculpin (Dasycottus setiger), yellow Irish lord (Hemilepidotus jordani), bigmouth sculpin (Hemitripterus bolini), darkfin sculpin (Malacocottus zonurus), great sculpin (Myoxocephalus polyacanthocephalus), dusky snailfish (Liparis gibbus), Pacific sandfish (Trichodon trichodon), searcher (Bathymaster signatus), northern ronquil (Ronquilis jordani), deepsea sole (Embassichthys bathybius), rex sole (Errex zachirus), flathead sole (Hippoglossoides elassodon), butter sole (Isopsetta isolepis), southern rock sole (Lepidopsetta bilineata), northern rock sole (Lepidopsetta polyxystra), yellowfin sole (Pleuronectes asper), and Dover sole (Microstomus pacificus) were analyzed to describe the food habits of the major groundfish species in the Gulf of Alaska in 1999 and 2001.

Arrowtooth flounder, Pacific halibut, sablefish, Pacific cod, bigmouth sculpin, big skate, and Bering skate were the main piscivores. Walleye pollock were the dominant prey fish. The main predators that fed on Tanner crabs were Pacific halibut, Pacific cod, big skate, longnose skate, and great sculpin. Flathead sole, sharpchin rockfish, rougheye rockfish, longnose skate, and walleye pollock were the main consumers of pandalid shrimp. Sharpchin rockfish, Pacific ocean perch, redbanded rockfish, Atka mackerel, and pollock fed mainly on zooplankton (mainly euphausiids and calanoid copepods). Southern rock sole, northern rock sole, rex sole, Dover sole, deepsea sole, and darkfin sculpin were benthic feeders; they fed mainly on polychaetes, marine worms, and brittle stars.

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