There are specific areas, "hot spots" of biological
activity, where migratory species, including especially marine mammals,
sea birds, sharks and tunas, are abundant in the North Pacific Ocean.
Some probably persist through time due to the influence of topographical
features (e.g., seamounts) on biological productivity.
Some persist due to the relative stability of oceanographic features
such as currents and eddies, and some may be more ephemeral, changing
in time or location owing to variability in wind patterns. However,
little is known about the dynamics of these potentially important
hot spots as habitats that may support increased biodiversity, or
as regions that support fisheries. This session seeks to identify
and compare the physical and biological features of "hot spots"
where migratory species and top-predators tend to concentrate among
the western and eastern North Pacific Ocean. It also requests reports
of studies that analyze topographic control, oceanographic mechanisms,
the ecology of plankton, nekton and pelagic fishes in these hot
spots, and methods to determine the degree of association of organisms
within the communities inhabiting hot spots. Motivating questions
include: How persistent are these sites in time and space? What
oceanographic mechanisms support high levels of biological activity?
How do predators associate with and functionally respond to oceanographic
and community structure and variability? And what is the role of
these hot spots in reproduction, growth and survival and life history
strategies of migratory top predators?