Feeding activity and food habits of the shad, Ethmalosa fimbriata (Bowdich), in the coastal waters of Cape Coast
The monthly feeding activity and food habits of populations of Ethmalosa fimbriata occurring in the sea and an estuary in Cape Coast, Ghana district were investigated during a 14-month period. The juvenile fish, whose total length (T.L.) ranged from 5-3 to 14-7 cm, occur in the estuary and appeared to be more active feeders than the marine samples which measured 15.0-30.4 cm. The peak feeding activity in the marine population coincided with the onset of upwelling ‘ in the sea, which period is characterized by high salinities,’decreasing temperatures and high zooplankton production. The species is primarily a plankton feeder. The stotnachs of the marine samples contained mainly protozoa, Crustacea, molluscan larvae and’a considerable amount of detritus while the stomachs of the estuarine fish contained mainly phytoplankton, protozoa, sand grains and organic detritus. These observations have been discussed in relation to other reports on populations occurring along the West African coast.