[MARMAM] Recent book chapter

Daniel Palacios daniel.palacios at noaa.gov
Thu Mar 8 10:56:42 PST 2012

MARMAM readers may be interested in this recent publication that, while
focusing on white sharks, also reports on marine mammal occurrence in an
oceanic region:

Domeier, M.L., N. Nasby-Lucas and D.M. Palacios. 2012. The Northeastern
Pacific White Shark Shared Offshore Foraging Area (SOFA): A First
Examination and Description from Ship Observations and Remote Sensing.
Pages 147–158, Chapter 12, in: M.L. Domeier, Ed. Global Perspectives on the
Biology and Life History of the White Shark, CRC Press, DOI:

Previous studies have shown that adult White Sharks (*Carcharodon carcharias
*) migrate from aggregation sites near the coast to pelagic habitats
situated between North America and Hawaii. Studies using satellite-linked
radio transmitting (SLRT) tags have allowed for a better spatial
description of this region while also delineating sex-specific offshore
habitat partitioning. Although females roam widely in the pelagic habitat,
males occupy a more defined region called the Shared Offshore Foraging Area
(SOFA). Here we report the first direct observations of the SOFA, made from
a ship in June 2009, and compare these observations with oceanographic
remote sensing data to characterize the SOFA habitat. White sharks tagged
with SLRT tags provided real-time tracking positions to guide the research
vessel toward offshore regions used by White Sharks. The timing of the
expedition coincided with a seasonal contraction of the SOFA. Ship
observations in the region where the sharks were detected revealed an
absence of epipelagic fish and small cetaceans, but Sperm Whales (*Physeter
macrocephalus*) and three species of spawning squid (*Architeuthis* and two
species of Ommastrephid squids) were present. Oceanographic remote sensing
data showed the region to be an epipelagic cold spot, broadly characterized
by downwelling conditions, reduced horizontal motions or other dynamical
processes, no major temperature fronts, and very low phytoplankton biomass.
However, the presence of apex predators like White Sharks, Sperm Whales,
and squid suggests that the SOFA ecosystem supports a considerable
mesopelagic biomass. Oceanic hot spots are currently described primarily by
epipelagic and surface observations; this study demonstrates the need to
incorporate mesopelagic observations into the characterization of hot and
cold spots.

A PDF is available (10.7MB).

*Daniel M. Palacios, Ph.D.*
Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Univ. Hawaii
& Environmental Research Division, NOAA/NMFS/SWFSC
Pacific Fisheries Environmental Laboratory
1352 Lighthouse Ave.
Pacific Grove, CA 93950-2097

Phone: 831-658-3203
Fax: 831-648-8440
Email: Daniel.Palacios at noaa.gov

Disclaimer: The contents of this message are mine personally and do not
necessarily reflect any position of the Government or the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration.
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