Diet composition of bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus L. 1758) in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Turkey

Karakulak F. S. , Salman A. Y. , Oray I. K.

JOURNAL OF APPLIED ICHTHYOLOGY, cilt.25, ss.757-761, 2009 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 25
  • Basım Tarihi: 2009
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1111/j.1439-0426.2009.01298.x
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.757-761


P>This study gives relevant information on the diet composition of the bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) during the spawning period in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The stomach contents of 218 bluefin tuna were sampled from 2003 to 2006 during the fishing season (May-June) aboard purse seiners operating in the northern Levantine Sea off the coast of Turkey. Stomachs were removed from the fish soon after landing and kept frozen at -18 degrees C until analysis. Prey items were classified into large taxonomic categories and preserved in 70% ethanol. A total of 745 different prey specimens belonging to 47 taxa were identified, including 34 species of fish, 11 of squid, and two of crustaceans. The most important fish and cephalopod prey belonged to the families Myctophidae, Carangidae, Chauliodontidae, Paralepididae, and Octopoda. This study marks the observation of myctophid fish in the stomach contents of bluefin tuna from the Mediterranean Sea. The paper offers some new information of regional importance and compares the feeding habits of the species to other regions, bringing confirmation on the opportunistic feeding ecology of the species in the enclosed Mediterranean Sea, where bluefin tuna seasonally occur as a strong cohort. New information on the diet composition of T. thynnus in the eastern Mediterranean Sea is revealed; the findings indicate that, depending on the abundance of the different prey species in the habitat, the dominant prey species can be distinctive.