DescriptionDietary studies are important in understanding the ecological role of marine mammals and the food-web dynamic of marine ecosystems. This is especially vital due to the effects prey-predator interactions have on ecosystems. Seal foraging behavior can for example have an impact on specific prey abundance including fisheries, such that diet studies can assist in formulating appropriate management plans for a specific ecosystem. However, the diet composition among different southern African seal species remains uncertain. It is important to study the variety of diet among different species of seals to record their dietary preferences and how changes in prey may affect their survival. This study therefore evaluated the diet composition of different species of Southern Ocean region using multi-omics approaches. The stomach and intestinal contents are collected from stranded dead seals from the Eastern Cape coastline.The findings of this study will help to document new information about the diet composition of seals, preferred prey species and specific differences if any. It is expected that our metabolomics and DNA metabarcoding findings will provide an insight into the cause of stranding. The results of this study will provide understanding of the food web of these seal species in the Southern Ocean.
|5 Feb 2021 → 5 Feb 2023