Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Environmental Chemistry Projects

Staff

Gina Ylitalo
Program Manager
Staff Directory


Foraging ecology

Describing the diet and foraging regions of cetaceans and other marine organisms can be difficult, as much of their foraging behavior and feeding occurs at depths where it cannot be directly observed. Marine organisms, including cetaceans and fish, incorporate chemical tracers acquired from their prey that reflect both the species consumed and the regions from which the prey were taken. These chemical tracers — carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios; persistent organic pollutants and fatty acid profiles — can then be used to help describe their diet and feeding range, which is particularly important for populations for which little dietary information is available.

Collaborators:
Marine Mammal and Seabird Ecology Team, Conservation Biology Division
NOAA Fisheries, Office of Protected Resources, Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program
NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory
NOAA Fisheries, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Protected Species Division
NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Protected Resources Division
The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation
The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Cascadia Research Collective
The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site North Gulf Oceanic Society
The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies
The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife