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Condition of bluefin tuna in gulf of maine is declining
Date:8/23/2007

metabolism. Bluefin will eat just about anything sponges, seahorses, dogfish but according to recent studies, up to 60 percent of their prey is comprised of Atlantic herring, says Golet, noting that herring, along with mackerel and bluefish, is tuna health food, providing maximum energy to these long-distance swimmers.

Since stock assessments indicate that herring abundance is at historically high levels, however, the researchers wonder if perhaps the herring themselves have experienced a decline in quality, or if they have dispersed into smaller schools, requiring greater energy output: Bluefin have to swim farther for each meal. The junk food hypothesis probes whether changes in diet from high-energy food like herring and mackerel to less energetic species like haddock or sand lance results in lower caloric intake. And evidence is mounting to support the hypothesis that bluefin migrations are far more complex than once thought and that bluefin may be traveling farther to the Gulf of Maine; some Atlantic bluefin in the Gulf of Maine have traveled from the central and eastern Atlantic, utilizing far more stored energy swimming greater distances against major currents.

Golet doesnt expect to find a single smoking gun, or harpoon. Im very convinced that its multiple factors working with each other, says Golet.


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Contact: Beth Potier
beth.potier@unh.edu
603-862-1566
University of New Hampshire
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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