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Feeding ecology of the southern lanternshark (Etmopterus baxteri) and the brown lanternshark (E. unicolor) off southeastern Australia

Hallett, C.S.ORCID: 0000-0002-8844-3388 and Daley, R.K. (2011) Feeding ecology of the southern lanternshark (Etmopterus baxteri) and the brown lanternshark (E. unicolor) off southeastern Australia. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 68 (1). pp. 157-165.

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Little is known about the ecological interactions between bycatch species and orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus) within exploited slope and seamount communities off Tasmania. The diet of Etmopterus baxteri and E. unicolor, two important bycatch species of these fisheries, is described using four indices [percentage frequency of occurrence, percentage by number, percentage by weight, and percentage by the index of relative importance (%IRI)] calculated for broad prey categories, individual prey taxa, and functional prey groups. The identifiable diet of E. unicolor was dominated by benthic cephalopods (96%IRI), whereas benthic teleost prey, notably orange roughy (43%IRI), dominated the diet of E. baxteri. Similar trophic mechanisms appear to support aggregations of orange roughy and Etmopterus spp. off Tasmania; they feed on demersal species and mesopelagic or vertically migrating nekton advected laterally onto the mid-slope. The importance of teleost prey in the diet of E. baxteri apparently increases with shark length, whereas crustaceans become less important, which is a similar diet shift to that of orange roughy. Etmopterus baxteri is both a potential competitor and predator of orange roughy in these ecosystems. Fishery managers need to understand and consider the complex trophic interactions between orange roughy, sharks, and other exploited species in managing recently reopened deep-water fisheries off southeastern Australia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: 2010 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
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