Nielsen, Julius2; hedeholm, Rasmus3; Simon, Malene3; Steffensen, John Fleng4
1 Marine Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 Technical University of Denmark, DTU Aqua, Hirtshalsd3 Grønlands Naturinstitut4 Marine Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
Dansk Havforskermøde 2013 Julius Nielsen, Rasmus Hedeholm, Malene Simon og John Fleng Steffensen The Greenland shark is ubiquitous in the northern part of the North Atlantic ranging from eastern Canada to northwest Russia . Although knowledge is scarce it is believed to be abundant and potentially important part of the ecosystem. Whether Greenland sharks in general should be considered opportunistic scavengers or active predators is therefore important in understanding ecosystem dynamics. Due to its sluggish appearance and a maximum reported swimming speed of 74 cm per second scavenging seems the most likely feeding strategy. However, recent studies suggest that Greenland sharks in some areas feed actively upon seals . Feeding ecology is poorly described in Greenland waters. In this study we provide information on feeding habits of 29 sharks caught in Greenland waters in the summer 2012 and show that the sharks catch epi-benthic species with Atlantic cod being the most important (% IRI = 56 ), followed by squid (% IRI= 13 ) and wolf fish (IRI=4). Furthermore seal was found in 50 % of all stomachs (% IRI= 13). In addition to providing new knowledge of feeding habits of this species in Greenland waters, we suggest the results show that the Greenland catches the majority of its prey by active predation.