How Groundfish Predators Coexist in Alaskan Waters

New research, led by School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS) Postdoctoral Scholar Cheryl Barnes, School of Marine & Environmental Affairs (SMEA) Associate Professor Anne Beaudreau, and Richard Yamada from Alaska Reel Adventures, helps us better understand how large, toothy flatfish such as Pacific halibut and arrowtooth flounder coexist. Pacific halibut and arrowtooth flounder have a reputation for being voracious predators and may compete with each other for food and space. Arrowtooth flounder have very large mouths and are able to eat the same types of food as smaller-sized Pacific halibut. But once halibut grow larger, they may have an advantage when foraging due to their size and strength. While these predators might not earn a gold star for sharing, their different strategies for success mean that they both get a seat at the snack table.

The authors would like to thank the captains at Shelter Lodge and Anchor Point Lodge, who provided more than 2,000 fish stomachs for the project! This research was also made possible by the generosity of funders, the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center, the Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center, and the Northern Gulf of Alaska Applied Research Award. The research was conducted while Barnes was a student and Beaudreau was a faculty member at University of Alaska Fairbanks Juneau Fisheries Center.

You can read the paper here:…/10.1002/mcf2.10141