Modeling Trophic Interactions Between Parental Common Murres and Capelin off the Northeast Newfoundland Coast
Newfoundland and Labrador is known for its fishing and whale- and seabird-watching activities. Many marine mammals, seabirds and large fish (e.g. cod) depend on one single prey fish species, capelin. There is also a small-scale fishery targeting capelin during the summer. If the stock is mismanaged, the effects of mismanagement will be felt throughout the whole system and ultimately affect economic activities. In order to manage a fish stock the basic information we need is to know how much fish is out there. Our research may provide a capelin stock status indicator, derived from seabirds diets. Ecosystems indicators have been on the table of ecological discussions for some time. However, most of them are only qualitative, in order to turn them into real qualitative indicators one must not only see the patterns in nature but also unveil and understand the processes that drive such patterns. Through our field observations we have noticed a pattern between capelin abundance and common murres diet. Through ecological modeling we have found a link between capelin abundance and murres diet (the process), hence potentially allowing us to provide sound advice on how to responsibly manage this prime natural resource.
01 Jan 2005
31 Dec 2007
Fishing, hunting and trapping
Strategic Research Theme
Oceans, Fisheries and Aquaculture