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Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 193–202 | Cite as

Fishery and Ontogenetic Driven Changes in the Diet of the Spiny Dogfish, Squalus acanthias, in Patagonian Waters, Argentina

  • Mariano Koen Alonso
  • Enrique Alberto Crespo
  • Néstor Aníbal García
  • Susana Noemí Pedraza
  • Pablo Ariel Mariotti
  • Nancy Judith Mora
Article

Abstract

The diet of the spiny dogfish in northern and central Patagonian waters was studied from the by-catch of the bottom trawling fisheries directed to Argentine hake Merluccius hubbsi and Argentine red shrimp Pleoticus muelleri between 1996 and 1998. Food habits were analyzed in relation to sex and maturity of sharks. Also, the relationship between diet and abundance of the main prey was explored. Intraspecific diet comparisons were performed. Differences in diet were found between immature individuals, mature males, and mature females. The Argentine shortfin squid Illex argentinus, the Argentine hake and ctenophores Pleurobrachia pileus were the most important prey for the spiny dogfish. Immature and small individuals were pelagic predators. After sexual maturity, the spiny dogfish shifted its diet. Mature and large individuals tended to reduce the consumption of ctenophores, and increase the consumption of demersal and benthic species. Previous diet studies on the spiny dogfish in 1984–1985 and 1994 indicated that the Argentine hake was the most important prey. In the present study, carried out in 1998, squid was the most important prey, followed by the hake. This diet change was related to the major decrease of hake due to overfishing and the increase of squid abundance between 1994 and 1999.

Argentine hake Argentine shortfin squid diet shift elasmobranchs food habits hake fishery intraspecific diet differences overfishing sexual maturity sharks squid fishery 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariano Koen Alonso
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Enrique Alberto Crespo
    • 2
    • 3
  • Néstor Aníbal García
    • 2
    • 3
  • Susana Noemí Pedraza
    • 2
    • 3
  • Pablo Ariel Mariotti
    • 3
  • Nancy Judith Mora
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Centro Nacional Patagónico (CONICET)Puerto Madryn, ChubutArgentina
  3. 3.Universidad Nacional de la PatagoniaPuerto Madryn, ChubutArgentina

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