Science

K070: Whales, seals and penguins: defining functional roles and trophic dependencies of key top predators in the Ross Sea

Regina Eisert
University of Canterbury

Climate change and commercial fishing are two potential drivers of change in the Ross Sea, but our ability to predict or manage impacts is limited by lack of information.

Antarctic top predators integrate complex changes in the physical and biological conditions affecting their food resources, which makes them ideal sentinels for the state of the Ross Sea ecosystem. We will study the food requirements of killer whales, Weddell seals and Adélie penguins to provide reference points for detecting future change and to identify what food resources are critical to these predators to allow responsible environmental stewardship of the Ross Sea.