Marine Mammal Sci (1996)

DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.1996.tb00569.x


Stomach contents were analyzed from 85 Dall’s porpoises, Phocoenoides dalli, taken in the southern Sea of Okhotsk during the summer of 1988. Thirteen species of fish and five species of cephalopods were identified. Fishes comprising 9 families were predominant and made up 79.9% of the total number of prey, with an overall occurrence in the stomachs of 100%. Three families of cephalopods made up 20.1% of the total number of prey ingested, with an overall occurrence of 74%. The Japanese pilchard, Sardinops sagax melanostictus, was the primary prey and represented 72.0% of the total prey in 97.3% of the stomachs examined. The gonatid squid, Berryteuthis magister, ranked second and made up 16.9% of the total prey in 61.6% of the stomachs. Walleye pollock, Theragra chalcogramma, was the third most abundant prey item consumed and represented 6.0% of the total, with an occurrence of 53.4%. Composition of the sample by the calculated total mass and caloric intake supports the numeric findings on the relative importance of the three major prey species to the DaIl’s porpoise diet. The Japanese pilchard was clearly dominant using these indices and constituted 65.4% of the total mass and 80.7% of the caloric intake. Berryteuthis magister made up 26.8% of the mass and 15.5% of the caloric intake. Walleye pollock contributed the least to the diet with 7.9% of the total mass and 3.8% of the caloric intake. Volumetric data indicate that porpoises are feeding heavily on Japanese pilchard throughout the daylight hours. Berryteuthis magister was probably fed upon in the late night or early morning hours. Occurrence of both Dall’s porpoise and Japanese pilchard in the coastal waters of the southern Sea of Okhotsk is seasonal. The summer movements of Dall’s porpoise into this region may be related to the seasonal migration and abundance of the Japanese pilchard.