Predation mortality from ambush and cruising predators on newly-settled 0-group gadoids
Predation mortality from shorthorn sculpin was estimated based on abundance of shorthorn sculpins, number of 0-group cod and saithe juveniles in predator stomachs, prey recognition times and abundance of 0-group cod and saithe. The average predation mortality rate from shorthorn sculpin on 0-group gadoid juveniles varied from 0.40 to 1.14 month−1 between years and the pooled estimate from 2013 to 2015 was 0.70 month−1 (95%CI: 0.30, 1.73). This is comparable to mortality rates from other studies on newly-settled 0-group Atlantic cod, other gadoid species and plaice. Based on gill-net catches and stomach data from this study and literature values for gill-net catching area, calculated predation mortalities from the cruising cod and saithe were less than 47% of the sculpin predation mortality rates. This show that predation mortality from the ambush sculpin predator was much higher than from the cruising Atlantic cod and saithe.