media brief 249 to 436 million tons (minimum) of marine resources regional assessments of prey consumption and competition by mar

MEDIA BRIEF

249 to 436 Million tons (Minimum)
of Marine Resources
Regional assessments of prey consumption and competition by marine
cetaceans in the world
Tsutomu Tamura The Institute of Cetacean Research, Tokyo, Japan
ABSTRACT – The total annual prey consumption by 45 species (12 baleen
whale species; 33 toothed whale species) out of 84 species (13 baleen
whale species; 71 toothed whale species) of marine cetaceans in the
world was assessed. The assessment was based on: (i) recently
available abundance estimates of cetaceans; (ii) daily prey
consumption rates of cetaceans estimated using three methods; (iii)
estimated biomass of cetaceans by use of average body weight and
abundance; and (iv) composition of prey species of cetaceans. The
annual prey consumption of cetaceans was estimated for three ocean
regions: the southern hemisphere, including the Indian Ocean (120-242
million t); the North Pacific (63-85 million t); and the North
Atlantic (55-107 million t). Total annual prey consumption by
cetaceans in the world was estimated to be at least 249-434 million t,
because the data did not cover all cetacean species nor their whole
range. The fish consumption by cetaceans in the southern hemisphere
including the Indian Ocean was estimated to be 18-32 million t and
equated to 66-120% of commercial fisheries catches in 1996. In the
North Pacific, fish consumption was estimated to be 21-31 million t,
equivalent to 67-99% of commercial fisheries catches in 1996. In the
North Atlantic, the fish consumption by cetaceans was 15-25 million t,
equivalent to 87-144% of commercial fisheries catches in 1996. There
was probably direct competition between cetaceans and commercial
fisheries in the North Pacific and the North Atlantic. However, as the
information on the abundance of cetaceans was not included for all
species, the actual figures for annual prey consumption by all
cetaceans are probably larger than the results presented. More
information on abundance, body weight and prey composition of
cetaceans in each region is necessary to consider competition between
cetaceans and commercial fisheries in order to address a more
realistic strategy for fisheries management and the conservation of
cetaceans in future.
Download this document at:
www.icrwhale.org/eng/59Estimation.pdf
www.icrwhale.org/eng/59Estimation.doc

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