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Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2020, Vol 20, Num, 12     (Pages: 857-866)

Understanding the Trophodynamics of Yellowfin Tuna, Thunnus albacares (Bonnaterre, 1788) from the Western Bay of Bengal

Mamidi Satish Kumar 1 ,Shubhadeep Ghosh 1

1 Visakhapatnam RC of ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute Pandurangapuram, Ocean View Layout, Visakhapatnam-530003, Andhra Pradesh, India. DOI : 10.4194/1303-2712-v20_12_02 Viewed : 43 - Downloaded : 59 The trophodynamics of Thunnus albacares (Bonnaterre, 1788) from the western Bay of Bengal was studied during 2012 – 2015. Feeding intensity revealed that 34.6 % of the fishes had empty-trace stomachs, 52.77% of the fishes had quarter full-half full stomachs and 12.44% of the fishes had three fourth full-gorged stomachs. Feeding intensity increased with an increase in body size of the fishes with high prey to predator weight ratios and with a third of the fishes above 160 cm fork length possessing three fourth full-gorged stomachs. Cephalopods (47%) dominated the prey constituents, followed by semi digested finfishes and shellfishes (28%), finfishes (16%) and crustaceans (9%). Significant shifts in prey items were observed with an increase in fish size. Though squids were predominant in the diet, however, with the increase in size, feeding shift has clearly been observed towards finfishes. Feeding preferences did not vary between sexes. Annual and seasonal similarities were recorded in their food and feeding habits. Prey-specific abundance indicated a relative specialized feeding pattern with high occurence of species belonging to the orders Teuthidae and Perciformes. Levins Standardized Niche Breadth Index of 0.16 indicated limited niche width in the feeding strategy of Thunnus albacares. Keywords : Feeding Intensity, Feeding Strategy, Index of Relative Importance, Western Bay of Bengal, Thunnus albacares