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MEPS - Vol. 454 - Feature article
Examples of habitats and species sampled via stomach contents data from fishes captured with bottom trawls.

Cook AM, Bundy A

 

Use of fishes as sampling tools for understanding biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in the ocean

 

Economically efficient sources of additional data are needed for an ecosystem-based approach to management (EAM) of oceans and to expand ecosystem monitoring capacity. Cook & Bundy used stomach contents data of fish caught in research vessel trawl surveys as secondary samplers of the ocean’s biota. They demonstrate that a broader description of species richness and distribution, including small fish and invertebrate species not sampled by standard trawl surveys, can be obtained with only a little extra effort. The authors conclude that the addition of stomach data can enrich the definition process for spatial management tools, adding dimensions that would otherwise be missed. This has important implications for EAM at a time when we should be exploring all the resources at our disposal.

 

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