The construction of wind farms introduces artificial hard substrates in sandy sediments. As Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and pouting (Trisopterus luscus) tend to aggregate in order to feed around these reefs, energy profiling and trophic markers were applied to study their feeding ecology in a wind farm in the Belgian part of the North Sea. The proximate composition (carbohydrates, proteins and lipids) differed significantly between liver and muscle tissue but not between fish species or between their potential prey species. Atlantic cod showed to consume more energy than pouting. The latter had a higher overall energy reserve and can theoretically survive twice as long on the available energy than cod. In autumn, both fish species could survive longer on their energy than in spring. Polyunsaturated fatty acids were found in high concentrations in fish liver. The prey species Jassa and Pisidia were both rich in EPA while Jassa had a higher DHA content than Pisidia.
Energy profiling supported the statement that wind farm artificial reefs are suitable feeding ground for both fish species. Sufficient energy levels were recorded and there is no indication of competition.