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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Blue whiting caught with a pelagic trawl in the Irminger Sea

Photo: Søren Post

Post S, Jónasdóttir SH, Andreasen H, Ólafsdóttir AH, Jansen T

Blue whiting Micromesistius poutassou diel feeding behaviour in the Irminger Sea

Blue whiting, a boreal codfish, plays an essential role in the North Atlantic, both commercially and ecologically. This study reveals the diet and diel feeding behaviour of blue whiting in a subarctic region, the Irminger Sea, where the blue whiting population is increasing with warmer temperatures. Post and colleagues demonstrated that blue whiting has a particular diel feeding pattern with different prey groups targeted at different times of the day. Moreover, they showed that blue whiting in this region has a strong affinity for the largest copepods in the ecosystem, potentially resulting in local depletion of these copepods. Consequently, this study emphasizes the need to consider diel predation differences when studying all aspects of fish feeding. Additionally, it sheds light on some of the potential consequences of subarctic zooplankton communities when boreal fish species, such as the blue whiting, increase.


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