Laboratory Analyses »
Fish and Marine Mammal Dietary Analysis
Dietary analysis provides a better understanding of trophic linkages between species in the aquatic environment. NSC offers stomach content (diet and parasite infracommunities) identification services for fish and marine mammals, and staff are familiar with species from freshwater, estuarine and marine environments in Canada. NSC processes both preserved stomachs and samples collected from live fish (gastric lavage), and wet and dry biomass measurements can be provided as part of the analysis. Services range from archiving stomachs after a basic assessment to classify them as "empty" or "full", to identifying all the contents, including invertebrates (to the lowest taxonomic level) and both intact and partially-digested fish (through the examination of otoliths).
Examples of dietary analysis performed by NSC include:
- Quantified dietary items from Dolly Varden Char stomachs (DFO).
- Quantified dietary items and endoparasites from Arctic Char stomachs (DFO).
- Empty/full classification and archived stomachs from Chum, Coho and Pink Salmon (DFO).
- Quantified dietary items and endoparasites from ringed and bearded seals (DFO).
- Quantified dietary items from Lake Sturgeon (Conawapa Generation Project; Pointe du Bois Spillway Replacement).
- Empty/full classification of Arctic Char stomachs (Mary River Project).