Diet analysis and feeding ecology of the thornback ray (Raja clavata) around the Shetland Islands, Scotland

Mia McAllister, Shaun Fraser

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

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Abstract

Skates (family Elasmobranchii) are facing global decline, and thus there is a pressing need for research into their populations. Diet, feeding strategy, and trophic ecology studies of fish are essential for determining trophic interactions in ecological communities and to enable more directed conservation and fisheries management. The diet and feeding strategy of the IUCN-listed Near Threatened thornback ray (Raja clavata) around the Shetland Islands, Scotland, was investigated in detail for the first time through stomach content analysis. Results are presented from 120 samples that were collected from 17 shallow (20-50m) and 11 inshore (50-150m) scientific trawl stations during August and September 2022. Results show R.clavata feeds mainly on common hermit crabs (Pagarus bernhardus), closely followed by sandeels (Ammodytes spp.). Comparison of diet and feeding ecology between shallow and inshore locations may indicate important variations in prey-species dynamics important for nursery grounds.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2023
EventUHI 2022/23 Research Conference - ‘Imagining Knowledge Futures’ : New realities, addressing realities - national and global issues and challenges - Alexander Graham Bell Centre for Digital Health, UHI Moray, Elgin , United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jan 202312 Jan 2023
https://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/research-enterprise/events-and-seminars/university-research-conference/conference-2023/

Conference

ConferenceUHI 2022/23 Research Conference - ‘Imagining Knowledge Futures’
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityElgin
Period10/01/2312/01/23
Internet address

Keywords

  • fisheries
  • dietary composition
  • food composition
  • Elasmobranch
  • rajids
  • trophic ecology

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