Diet of three large pelagic fishes associated with drifting fish aggregating devices (DFADs) in the western equatorial Indian Ocean

Malone, M. A.  Buck, K. M.  Moreno, G.  Sancho, G. 

Abstract

Several species of fish, aggregate around DFADs in marine tropical waters. We captured three predatory species: yellow fin tuna (Thunnus albacares), wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) and dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus) from aggregations under DFADs in the Western Indian Ocean to characterize their diet and determine whether they fed on other DFAD associated organisms. Yellowfin tuna did not feed on DFAD–associated prey, while wahoo and dolphinfish did exploit resources aggregated by the DFADs, though they predominantly fed on other non–associated organisms. Opportunistic feeding on surface swarming stomatopod crustaceans was observed in yellowfin tuna and dolphinfish associated with FADs, but was not observed in wahoo.

Key words

FAD, Yellowfin tuna, Dolphinfish, Wahoo, Stomach contents, Diet

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