Sources of evidence for salmon in the diet of seals
By P.R. Boyle, G.J. Pierce, J.S.W. Diack
Fisheries Research, Volume 10, Issues 1-2 Fisheries Research and the Atlantic Salmon - Assessment and Regulation in a Time of Change, December 1990, Pages 137-150, ISSN 0165-7836, DOI: 10.1016/0165-7836(90)90019-R.
Feeding trials in which salmon was fed to captive seals are described and sources of evidence for the presence of salmon in the diet of seals are evaluated. In faecal samples, the recovery rate of salmon otoliths is too low and bony remains are too fragmented to be useful. Protein extracts from the faeces of salmon-fed captive seals will react with anti-salmon antisera, but the reaction is not strong enough for the methods to be presently applied to field samples. In the digestive tract samples from seals, the use of bony remains for the identification of salmon significantly increases the probability of recognising this species. Protein extracts from digestive tract contents will react positively with anti-salmon antisera and this shows that serological methods can provide evidence for the presence of Salmonidae in the diet of seals, in the absence of solid remains.