Journal Article

Deep-ocean predation by a high Arctic cetacean

K.L. Laidre, M.P. Heide-Jørgensen, O.A. Jørgensen and M.A. Treble

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 61, issue 3, pages 430-440
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
Deep-ocean predation by a high Arctic cetacean

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  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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A bioenergetic model for two narwhal (Monodon monoceros) sub-populations was developed to quantify daily gross energy requirements and estimate the biomass of Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides) needed to sustain the sub-populations for their 5-month stay on wintering grounds in Baffin Bay. Whales in two separate wintering grounds were estimated to require 700 tonnes (s.e. 300) and 90 tonnes (s.e. 40) of Greenland halibut per day, assuming a diet of 50% Greenland halibut. Mean densities and length distributions of Greenland halibut inside and outside of the narwhal wintering grounds were correlated with predicted whale predation levels based on diving behavior. The difference in Greenland halibut biomass between an area with high predation and a comparable area without whales, approximately 19 000 tonnes, corresponded well with the predicted biomass removed by the narwhal sub-population on a diet of 50–75% Greenland halibut.

Keywords: Arctic; Baffin Bay; food consumption; Greenland halibut; narwhal; telemetry

Journal Article.  7935 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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