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Prey selection of common minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and Bryde's (Balaenoptera edeni) whales in the western North Pacific in 2000 and 2001



Present address. Hiroshi Ohizumi, Department of Marine Biology, School of Marine Science and Technology, Tokai University, 3-20-1 Orido, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka 424-8610, Japan.


A study of common minke and Bryde's whales was conducted in the western North Pacific in the 2000 and 2001 summer seasons to estimate prey selection of cetaceans as this is an important parameter in ecosystem models. Whale sighting and sampling surveys and prey surveys using quantitative echosounder and mid-water trawl were carried out concurrently in the study. Biomasses of Japanese anchovy, walleye pollock and krill, which were major prey species of common minke and Bryde's whales, were estimated using an echosounder. The results suggested that common minke whale showed prey selection for Japanese anchovy while they seemed to avoid krill in both the offshore and coastal regions and walleye pollock in the continental shelf region. Selection for shoaling pelagic fish was similar to that in the eastern North Atlantic. Bryde's whale showed selection for Japanese anchovy in August 2000 and July 2001, while it showed prey selection for krill in May and June in 2001.