Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Not Lekking - Sniffing!

Gill Rakers with mating scars in Guadalupe - think they would still look like this is she had traveled all the way from the SOFA, and this weeks after the males? Source.

Oh for crying out loud!

It really gets curiouser and curiouser!
I always keep an eye on the crazies lest I get caught unawares by the latest stupidity out of left field - and bingo!

The bloviating fireman reports from a lecture by Taylor Chapple.
That would be the dude whose completely discredited GWS census has served as a basis for the failed push to list the NE Pacific GWS population under ESA. He's of course completely unrepentant, claiming that the whole fiasco was due to the fact that NOAA did only consider published data, and that, and I cite,
a big problem with the process and the peer review of the ESA application was a lack of paying attention to the supplemental. He said his supplemental carried a lot of key info but it seems like both NOAA as well as other researchers, when arguing points, seemed to not even have read the supplemental, or ignored the info in it. He says the supplemental really holds a significant portion of the weight of data and people need to make sure they read it prior to making judgment.
Because the supplemental data would have rectified his numbers and elevated them from his stated 3-400 to the best available science of between Burgess' 2,400 and NOAA's approx. 3,000?
Whatever - right?

And it gets even better!
Forget the lekking - this is what is really happening out there in the SOFA!
The movement at the CAFÉ was indicative of mating activity. 
The data showed that the males and females congregate at the CAFÉ at the same time, but while the females stay at more regular depth, the males shoot up and down rapidly. Males were going between the surface and 500 meters as many as 150 times per day. 

How does this indicate mating activity? 
Many sharks, including the Pelagics (open ocean), use pheromones to find mates. At the CAFÉ, the water currents are quite horizontal with little movement vertical. As a female releases her pheromones, it travels horizontally. The males shoot up and down in an attempt to “smell” the pheromones and follow them to the female. What the males are doing is fattening up at the coast to journey out to the CAFÉ and using their fat stores to make these up/down searches. Only the males that are fat enough and strong enough to endure this high-energy search pattern find the females to mate, ensuring the genetic top of the population reproduces. 

This is of course all data supported theory, not actually observed. But the data does seem to support it as a very legitimate theory. 
No not really!
To start with, it's not a theory but a hypothesis - and far from being legitimate, it is once again implausible to the point of being ludicrous! 
Don't worry, this time, I'm not gonna dwell, let alone make assertions of sniffing glue and the like. It's once again nothing more than the attempt at discrediting Domeier's research that postulates that the SOFA is, as the name indicates, a foraging area whereas mating takes place at the known aggregations sites on the coast. 
Read the paper and also my post, and you will discern that all the evidence points to Domeier being right and this being blatantly wrong - starting with the fattening paper that suggests that the Sharks go hungry for months whilst using up the fat stored in their livers! So how come everybody I've asked tells me that they are not emaciated when they get back to Guadalupe after months, and in the case of the females, years out at sea? And the postulated supporting data merely show ROD, whereas there is strong sexual segregation, and distances between individuals are enormous. Do we at least know that the male aggregation area is down-current from the female one? 
Because if not... 

And the lekking?
Welcome to the frothy Piranha tank! :)

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