Fishing for a feeding frenzy: effects of shrimp beam trawling on the diet of dab and plaice in Lanice conchilega habitats.

This study investigated the effect of shrimp beam trawl disturbance on the diet of two abundant flatfish species Dab (Limanda limanda) and Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) in a Lanice conchilega habitat in the Belgium part of the southern North Sea. Lanice conchilega is a tubeworm known as a bio-engineer, because it structures its habitat and enhances the biodiversity of inhabiting benthic communities. Stomachs contents of Dab and Plaice were collected at four different time steps in relation to fishing disturbance: T0 (before fishing), T1, T2 and T3 (within 24 h after fishing). Before fishing, the diet of Plaice and Dab was mainly composed of annelids including L. conchilega, and complemented with crustaceans for Dab and bivalves for Plaice. Directly after fishing, the diets of Dab and Plaice were more similar with increasing contributions of annelids. In addition, prey biomass in the stomachs of both fish species and the stomach fullness was significantly higher immediately after fishing (T1). The increased contribution of annelids in the diet of both fish species was a clear effect of trawling disturbance but was rapidly (at T3) reduced to pre-fishing diet compositions.

Promotor(s) & Supervisor: Ann Vanreusel, Jochen Depestele, Jozefien Derweduwen
Thesis Institute: UGent/ILVO

ISCED Categories

The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0521 - Ecology", "0511 - Biology", "0831 - Fisheries