A young intern female scientist from New Caledonia, Pauline Machful, spent six month at the Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystem (FAME) Division and the Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability (CCES) Programme of the Pacific Community (SPC) to study the diet of tunas in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO). The objective: study and determine if climate change is affecting tuna diets in this area.
Through scientific voyages and campaigns or from commercial boats, SPC’s fisheries scientists collect samples of tuna, and in particular, tuna stomachs. They are then stored in the SPC Laboratory based at SPC Headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia. In total, almost 4000 tuna stomachs, collected between 2001 and 2018, were analysed by the scientists. Following this work, they have tried to identify or suggest main characteristics that could explain the difference in food composition and prey diversity of tunas such as sea surface temperature, the vast area of ocean with very diverse climatic conditions and diverse food availability, change of tuna behaviour or human-caused pressures.
To learn more about the results of this study, read the detailed article on FAME website.
Watch more: The last meal of a high-sea tuna fish