Consumption of marine resources by seabirds and seals at Heard Island and the McDonald Islands
- 1) Australian Antarctic Division, Channel Highway, 7050, Kingston, Tasmania, Australia
The seabird and seal community at Heard Island and the McDonald Islands comprised an estimated total biomass of 27893 tonnes of which the 15 breeding species of seabirds made up 70%. The total annual consumption of marine resources was estimated to be approximately 521 000 t, of which 81% was consumed by seabirds Approximately 165 000 t of fish, 41 600 t of squid and 312 000 t of crustaceans are consumed annually by this seabird and seal community. The annual energy flux to this community was estimated to be 2.17·1012 kJ and approximately 56 000 t of carbon are consumed annually. Breeding populations of King Penguins and Antarctic Fur Seals are increasing, that of the Southern Elephant Seal is decreasing; there are no data on the population trend for Macaroni Penguins, the predominant consumer species. Commercial fisheries are presently operating at the nearby Iles Kerguelen, and similar activities may prove to be commercially viable at Heard Island. The fishery is for Champsocephalus gunnari, a major prey species of penguins and Antarctic Fur Seals at Heard Island during the summer breeding season.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - ecologie animale, vegetale et microbienne
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - General Agricultural and Biological Sciences