Marine Environmental Research

Seasonal feeding patterns of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in the Strait of Gibraltar

Publication date: Available online 4 October 2019

Source: Marine Environmental Research

Author(s): José Luis Varela, Irene Carrera, Antonio Medina

Abstract

The Strait of Gibraltar (SoG) houses a large diversity of marine species including large pelagic animals that use this area as permanent or temporary habitat. In particular, the SoG is home to a population of adult and sub-adult Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) that occurs there for most of the year. To gain further insight into the life history of this ABFT population, seasonal feeding patterns were investigated combining stomach content analysis (SCA) and stable isotopes analysis (SIA) of muscle and liver tissues. Our results reveal seasonal variations in feeding patterns, which are evidenced by a significant shift in the diet composition and the highest food consumption rates that take place in spring, prior to the spawning season. These changes in feeding habits are consistent with the varying energetic needs along the species’ annual biological cycle. The present observations confirm the SoG as an important foraging ground for ABFT resident populations and may have further implications for the management of the resource.

Glossaire technique

Localité, c.-à-d., environnement dans lequel un organisme vit . lieu où...
Se réfère à la mer, depuis la haute mer jusqu'au niveau de la marée haute...