Sources of evidence for salmon in the diet of seals

Peter Robin Boyle, Graham John Pierce, Jane Diack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Feeding trials in which salmon was fed to captive seals are described and sources of evidence for the presence of salmon in the diet of seals are evaluated. In faecal samples, the recovery rate of salmon otoliths is too low and bony remains are too fragmented to be useful. Protein extracts from the faeces of salmon-fed captive seals will react with anti-salmon antisera, but the reaction is not strong enough for the methods to be presently applied to field samples. In the digestive tract samples from seals, the use of bony remains for the identification of salmon significantly increases the probability of recognising this species. Protein extracts from digestive tract contents will react positively with anti-salmon antisera and this shows that serological methods can provide evidence for the presence of Salmonidae in the diet of seals, in the absence of solid remains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-150
Number of pages14
JournalFisheries Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1990


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