Volume 43, No. 2

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Predation on seabirds by Pacific cod Gadus microcephalus near the Aleutian Islands, Alaska


1Alaska SeaLife Center, Seward, Alaska 99664 (
2Alaska SeaLife Center and School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Seward, Alaska 99664
3University of Alaska Southeast, Sitka, Alaska 99835
4School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Fisheries Division, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Juneau, Alaska 99801


ULMAN, S.E.G., HOLLMÉN, T., BREWER, R. & BEAUDREAU, A.H. 2015. Predation on seabirds by Pacific cod Gadus microcephalus near the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Marine Ornithology 43: 231 - 233

Received 15 July 2015, accepted 28 July 2015

Date Published: 2015/10/15
Date Online: 2017/02/28
Key words: Pacific cod, predation, diet, Crested Auklet Aethia cristatella


In marine systems, most seabirds are considered upper trophic level consumers, yet they may be vulnerable to predation by other marine animals. There are varying accounts of large fish eating birds, but little is known about whether predation by demersal fish predators is an important source of mortality for seabirds. Fish processors in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, have observed seabird remains in Pacific Cod Gadus macrocephalus stomachs. We analyzed seabird remains from Pacific Cod caught off Cape Sarichef in Unimak Pass from mid-January through early April 2011. Of 74 different seabird remains examined, five avian genera were identified. These results provide documentation that Pacific Cod consume seabirds; either by predation or scavenging. Overall, the significance of seabird predation by fish is not well known, but may be episodically important.


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