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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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NOAA scientist displaying a “shrimp-sampling device”: a goosefish Lophius americanus caught by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center Trawl Survey. Photo: Anne Byford

Lasley-Rasher RS, Brady DC, Smith BE, Jumars PA


It takes guts to locate elusive crustacean prey


Highly mobile euphausiid, crangonid, mysid and pandalid shrimp are exceedingly important prey for commercially harvested fishes and baleen whales. However, their patchy distributions and characteristic 'caridoid' escape responses make them difficult to sample at large spatial scales. Lasley-Rasher and colleagues used a fish diet database from NOAA spanning 39 yr to identify areas on the northeastern USA coastal shelf from North Carolina to Maine where these shrimp were found in fish diets. Evaluation of the database confirmed late winter onshore migration by mysids and crangonids and revealed an unanticipated northward March migration by euphausiids and pandalids. These migrations over tens to hundreds of kilometers occurred across multiple decades and were well tracked by fish.


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