Journal Article

Food and feeding ecology of juvenile albacore, <i>Thunnus alalunga</i>, off the Bay of Biscay: a case study

C. Pusineri, Y. Vasseur, S. Hassani, L. Meynier, J. Spitz and V. Ridoux

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 62, issue 1, pages 116-122
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
Food and feeding ecology of juvenile albacore, Thunnus alalunga, off the Bay of Biscay: a case study

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  • Environmental Science
  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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Although immature albacore tuna, Thunnus alalunga, are of economic and social importance in the Bay of Biscay, little is known about their diet and feeding ecology there. For this study, the diet of 78 albacore caught in the French driftnet fishery during summer 1993 is analysed. Fish dominated the diet in terms of relative abundance (86%N), and reconstituted mass (60%M), the most important being Maurolicus muelleri (79%N, 23%M), Scomberesox saurus (2%N, 30%M), and Arctozenus risso (4%N, 4%M). Crustaceans were also important in the diet (12%N, 2%M), but given their small size, it is questionable whether they were primary or secondary prey. Foraging on cephalopods seemingly took place only occasionally: they represented 2%N and 39%M of the total diet, but were absent from the fresh fraction of stomach contents. Prey sizes ranged from 6 to 228 mm. Juvenile albacore consume either epipelagic prey by day, or vertically migrating mesopelagic species that reach the surface layer by night.

Keywords: albacore; Bay of Biscay; diet; feeding ecology; Northeast Atlantic; Thunnus alalunga

Journal Article.  3304 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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