Gulf Apex Predator-Prey Project
Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center
University of Alaska Fairbanks • School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences • Kodiak, Alaska


Fish play a vital role in all marine ecosystems, as both predator and prey. Within the GAP framework, research focused on each of these roles. From GAP’s inception through 2007, a number of projects were designed to specifically explore fish distribution, abundance, and availability. Through the years of GAP research, fish studies evolved to include other sources of prey, such as zooplankton, and to incorporate oceanography.

The backbone of “fish as prey” studies was a series of seasonal fish surveys designed to describe fish species composition, abundance, and distribution within the GAP study area. These surveys were essential to addressing questions of seasonal prey availability for the region's apex predators. Separate studies were conducted to assess the distribution, abundance, and diet of piscivorous fishes as predators and potential competitors to Steller sea lions.

Some species of focus

Links in this section are all to PDFs.



Areas of research

While directed prey (fish, zooplankton, and oceanographic) studies are no longer a specific component of GAP research, forage fish and zooplankton remain an important component of directed whale studies.