posted on December 01, 1982 23:50
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Fisheries Research Branch
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, P. O. Box 5667
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada A1C 5X1
Source - Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science, Volume 3(2): 123-126
Stomach contents of thorny skates, Raja radiata, collected in the Northwest Atlantic from West Greenland to Georges Bank during 1947-67, were examined and measured by volume. The stomach contents consisted mostly of fish, followed by decapods (especially spider crabs and hermit crabs), cephalopods and polychaetes. The most numerous food items, in descending order of occurrence, were crabs, polychaetes, shrimp, sand lance, amphipods and capel in. The stomachs of smaller skates contained higher proportions of cephalopods, polychaetes and amphipods and lower proportions of fish species than the larger skates. Over 30% of the fish food was composed of fish and fish viscera, mainly cod and haddock, discarded from fishing vessels. The presence of whelks without shells in the stomachs indicates that this skate may be able to shake whelks out of their shells for food.