Summary of Abstract Submission

Abstract Submission No. IO50-09-0046PresentationOral

SEA BIRDS OF SOUTH EAST ARABIAN SEA AND THE TROPHIC LINKS WITH PELAGIC FISHERY RESOURCES

R. Jeyabaskaran*1, Gishnu Mohan1, Abbas A. Muhammed1, K.S. Abhilash1, P.G. Vishnu 1, L.R. Khambadkar1, D. Prema1, V. Kripa1

1 Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi, Kerala, India

ABSTRACT :

Sea birds form one of the apex predator groups in a marine trophic system. Apart from casual reports on their sighting, detailed investigations on their biology and ecological links in the Indian Ocean have not been attempted so far. During 2013 to 2015, regular cruises were undertaken to study the distribution, abundance, behaviour and biology of sea birds off Kerala, along the southwest coast of India. These studies revealed a close link between pelagic resources and sea birds. Of the 22 species of sea birds sighted,cormorants, shear waters, petrels, gulls, terns, boobies, noddies and skuas were common and they were observed to feed on sardine, anchovies and shrimps. The flesh-footed shear water Ardenna corneipes were dominant during June when the sardines and anchovies migrated close to the shore. About 7500 numbers of flesh-footed shearwaters were sighted in June 2014 which is the period when upwelled water rich in nutrients is observed close to the shore. The prey preference, foraging behaviour and the quantity of fish removed through predation by different species of sea birds was studied. Estimates were also made on the levels of nutrients in the area where coastal birds perch. This is the first report of sea birds abundance during upwelling period in South eastern Arabian Sea and their trophic links with small pelagics.