Free Content Food and feeding habits of blue marlin, Makaira nigricans, around Yonaguni Island, southwestern Japan

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The food and feeding habits of blue marlin Makaira nigricans Lacépède, 1802 were investigated using 1052 samples landed on Yonaguni Island, southwestern Japan, from February 2003 to February 2006. A total of 45 prey species consisting of 881 individuals were identified from undigested and partially digested stomach contents, and additionally seven other species were identified from nearly digested stomach contents. The most common prey species was skipjack tuna Katsuwonus pelamis (Linnaeus, 1758), accounting for 35.9% by number and 75.2% by weight, and observed in 62.3% of the samples. Species composition of stomach contents indicated that blue marlin mainly feed on prey near the surface, however, the presence of mesopelagic fishes in the stomach suggested that they also make movements to deeper depths for feeding. Feeding activity was high around fish aggregating devices (FADs) which attracted prey. Large blue marlin feed on larger prey and feed less frequently than do small blue marlin which contained a high variety of prey species.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2006

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