News Release

Seabird foraging and flying fish depletion

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

A female Ascension frigatebird

image: A female Ascension frigatebird (Fregata aquila) returning from a foraging trip at Ascension Island. view more 

Credit: Image credit: Sam Weber.

Between 2016 and 2019, researchers examined the foraging distribution of seabirds nesting on Ascension Island and simultaneously estimated the abundance of flying fish, the primary prey of such seabirds, located up to 370 km from Ascension Island; the researchers also tracked seabirds' foraging trips and examined their regurgitated food, and found that preying on flying fish reduced the density of flying fish populations located more than 150 km from seabird colonies, suggesting that fisheries may exacerbate the naturally depleted abundance of seabird prey around seabird breeding colonies.


Article #21-01325: "Direct evidence of a prey depletion "halo" surrounding a pelagic predator colony," by Sam B. Weber et al.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sam B. Weber, University of Exeter, Cornwall, UNITED KINGDOM; tel: +44 (0) 7717435282; email: <>, <>

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.