Anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus diet in the North and Baltic Seas

K.E. Raab, L.A.J. Nagelkerke, L.A.J. Boerée, A.D. Rijnsdorp, A. Temming, M. Dickey-Collas

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26 Citations (Scopus)


The diet of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) in the North and Baltic Seas was studied using stomach analysis from four sampling events in different areas. Zooplanktivory was confirmed; the most frequent prey items (in over 40% of stomachs) were copepods, malacostracan larvae and fish larvae. In the Baltic Sea, Paracalanus spp. and Pseudocalanus spp. were important in relative terms; in the German Bight, Temora spp. dominated the stomach contents. Relative abundances of prey items varied with area more than absolute abundance or presence absence of items. Moreover, the level of resolution of prey categories influenced which prey categories were considered to be most important in driving variability in stomach content. Anchovy diet is broad across the seasons, years and areas sampled, suggesting that it is not a specialist feeder in the North Sea. The similarity of diet between anchovy and other clupeids, as well as anchovy consumption of larval fish, makes the new increased anchovy population a potential intraguild predator of commercial species like herring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-140
JournalJournal of Sea Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • herring clupea-harengus
  • cod gadus-morhua
  • haddock melanogrammus-aeglefinus
  • whiting merlangius-merlangus
  • long-term changes
  • intraguild predation
  • feeding-behavior
  • irish sea
  • sprattus-sprattus
  • mediterranean sea


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