Volunteers gotta stay alertyou never know when there might be a mola sneaking up on you! Volunteer Appreciation Week mola mola ocean sunfish Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Smooch  Happy Mother’s Day!

Spindly arms, heavy lifting. Spiny brittle stars and their colorful kin are key components of the ocean’s cleanup crew, catching passing particles and scarfing on leftovers with powerful results.

when your job is literally just to eat stuff

Think your spring cleaning is tough? Try scrubbing the rocks with a pair of murres supervising. Better not wing it!

It might be easy to mistake these seabirds for penguins, with their white bellies, dark heads and wings, and upright posture. But they’re actually common murres! Common murres are seabirds that spend eight or nine months of each year continuously at sea. Their short wings are perfect for diving and “flying” under water.

Oh, man. In a snap of the fingers, cuttlefish can disappear into the background thanks to a gauntlet of chromatophores, like so many pixels on a big screen.

Hmm, you gotta be squidding! California market squid—"calamari" if you’re fancy—is being caught locally by a band of bright boats shimmering just offshore. This fishery began nearly two hundred years ago right here in Monterey, when Chinese fishermen lit pinecone fires over the sea to guide shoals of cephalopods into the light.

The squid caught here are landed at Monterey’s commercial wharf—one of the only active commercial wharfs in the state. The market squid fishery in California is well regulated and targets a species that is resilient to fishing pressure. Several marine protected areas safeguard squid spawning grounds and specific waters are closed-off to fishing to help keep the stock healthy, but more research needs to be done to understand fishing impacts on the population. For these reasons Seafood Watch rates California market squid a yellow “Good Alternative.”

And if eating squid isn’t your thing, then know that those lights on the water are the continuation of a centuries-old relationship between the Monterey Bay and the people living next to a bountiful bay, a place where the responsible management of our resources is a lesson being learned with every passing day, as the sun sets and our lights rise.

monterey bay aquarium squid fishery inkredible night lights
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