My, what big teeth you have! This dragon moray eel enlists cleaner shrimp to keep its teeth clean, and the shrimp get a free meal. Check out this unusual partnership in action in the Splash Zone!
(Photos: Travis Johnson)
#Hackathon for Healthy Oceans
Calling all coders (and designers and project managers, too)!
The State Department and the Aquarium need your talents for a project supporting ocean wildlife and healthy oceans.
It all takes place during a #Fishackathon in Monterey, beginning under the full moon on Friday, June 13.
We’ll feed you and put you up at the Aquarium for two days while you #CodeForFish – with our living exhibits as your inspiration. It’s a chance to use your skills to tackle two big fisheries challenges that need solutions if we want our oceans – and ocean wildlife – to stay healthy for future generations.
National event, with prizes
The hackathon in Monterey is one of five simultaneous events taking place across the country during the first-ever #Fishackathon.
Prizes for the cleanest code and best solutions include cash prizes of $5,000 and $1,000, a trip to the Philippines, and a Monterey vacation getaway.
The winning teams will be part of a Google Hangout on Monday, June 16 during the State Department’s Our Ocean 2014 Ocean Summit in Washington, DC.
We’re looking for teams of Silicon Valley’s best and brightest for a day and two nights of creative coding, design and project management, ending Sunday morning, June 15.
They grow up so quickly! Born and raised in our Tentacles egg lab and behind the scenes, our adult Hawaiian bobtail squid have just moved into their own exhibit. These brightly spotted beauties bury themselves in sand during the day and emerge at night with a sandy shroud to hunt.
Learn more about our Tentacles exhibition
Could we really have been this goofy? Almost 30 years ago our Aquaravan visited schools, hospitals, and senior centers to promote ocean conservation. We’re celebrating our 30th Anniversary every #ThrowbackThursday.
Help support another 30 years of ocean outreach
Watch them grow! Bigfin reef squid have the fastest recorded growth rate of any large marine invertebrate. Our clever aquarists have been able to cultivate eggs behind the scenes for our Tentacles exhibit, using fishing line, plastic ties and Super Glue.
This species completes its lifecycle in less than a year. In the warm Indo-Pacific waters where they’re found, these squid migrate inshore after winter to mate and spawn. They can spawn more than once during their short lifetime but females may die soon afterward. Each female lays up to 6,000 eggs, which take a few weeks to incubate, depending on the ambient water temperature. Hatchlings are barely a quarter-inch long when they hatch, but can grow to more than a foot.
Big fin reef squid do react to their reflection in a mirror indicating self-recognition. These animals are very adaptable to lab environments, and with their large neural axons, they’re important in neuroscience studies.
All aboard! Enjoy a fun and free ride on the WAVE (Waterfront Area Visitor Express) from Monterey to the Aquarium this summer.
View trolley schedules and stops
Did you know that the bell jelly is not a true jelly but rather a “hydromedusa?” Usually smaller than true jellies and not as colorful, they have translucent bells and 100 or more wispy tentacles, and red ocelli, or eyespots, which are sensitive to light.
Bell jellies also remain in dark, deep waters during the day and come to the surface at night, and spends about half their time near the seafloor, where they feed on small bottom-dwelling creatures.
Bell jellies used to be abundant in bays and estuaries along the West Coast. But their nearshore seafloor homes have been disturbed by dredging, urbanization and pollution runoff. Jelly populations, especially hydromedusae, are declining in heavily impacted coastal areas.
Marisa Miller, Jack Johnson to Receive Inaugural Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award
The public knew Paul Walker best for his roles as an actor. We knew him as an aspiring marine biologist and a lifelong friend of the ocean.
In collaboration with his family, we’ll honor his memory and continue his legacy through the Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award – recognizing individuals who are using their public stature to advance ocean causes and support philanthropic ventures.
Our first recipients – actress and supermodel Marisa Miller, and singer Jack Johnson – will receive their awards in June.
Marisa Miller will be honored in a public presentation on Saturday, June 7 during our World Oceans Day weekend celebration. Jack Johnson will receive his award on Saturday, June 14 during a special 30th anniversary event supporting our Children’s Education Fund.
Paul Walker’s daughter and brothers will participate in the presentations.
Two ocean advocates
“The ocean plays a central role in the lives of both Marisa Miller and Jack Johnson – as it did for Paul Walker,” Executive Director Julie Packard said. “Like Paul, they recognize how important it is to work for a future with healthy oceans, and to inspire others to do their part. We’re proud to honor them in this way.”
Walker helped us celebrate World Oceans Day in 2005, and told visitors that day about about his personal commitment to ocean conservation – urging them to step up their own involvement.
“I was fortunate to have visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium with my father on several occasions,” said his daughter, Meadow Walker. “It held a special place in his heart, as it now does in mine. I am proud of him, and this award that honors his commitment to ocean conservation.”
Marisa Miller: actress, supermodel, surfer and mom
Marisa Miller is an actress, supermodel, a surfer and Monterey Bay area resident who has been inspired by the Aquarium’s work since she was a schoolgirl. Today, as a young mother, she actively promotes an ocean-friendly lifestyle – one that eliminates single-use plastic water bottles, and incorporates sustainable seafood choices, as well as organic foods and natural personal care products that keep pollutants out of the ocean. In addition to her philanthropic work with the American Cancer Society and the USO, she has been associated with Surfrider Foundation, which works on behalf of healthy oceans.
“I’m honored to be receiving the Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award,” Marisa said. “The Monterey Bay Aquarium has been a part of my life since I was six years old. Its programs for education and ocean awareness are still impacting me today. I look forward to celebrating World Oceans Day with the communities that support all the work that the Monterey Bay Aquarium does.”
Jack Johnson: Singer-songwriter and philanthropist
Jack Johnson is an acclaimed singer-songwriter, surfer and filmmaker. The Hawaii native and his wife, Kim, have been effecting change worldwide by leading the music industry in greening practices and using their success to support many social and environmental issues. Their Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation supports environmental initiatives, art and music education worldwide – including the Aquarium’s Ocean Plastic Pollution Summit, where teachers find new ways to engage their students around the issue of plastics and ocean health. A graduate of the University of California-Santa Barbara, Johnson has released multiple platinum-selling albums on Brushfire Records, including Brushfire Fairytales, Sleep Through the Static and To the Sea.
“The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a special place for our family,” Jack said. “I appreciate the energy they put into educating the public on sustainable seafood, marine debris, and the overall health of our oceans. I’m honored to be working with them and to be receiving the Paul Walker Award.”
Youth award recipient
At the World Oceans Day celebration, we’ll also present a youth award to 17-year-old high school student Ailis Dooner of Carmel, who took second in the world at the International Science Fair for researching a way to prevent lung cancer using substances found in sea anemones and seaweed. Ailis is one of our Teen Conservation Leaders.
Photos: Marisa Miller by David Gruber. Jack Johnson by Emmett Malloy. Paul Walker by Randy Wilder.
Feeling a little sheepish after a nice holiday weekend? Our advice: just dive right in!
Watch our otters live
Our red, white and blue blubber jellies honor your service this #MemorialDay!
Learn more about these colorful jellies
(David Schultz Photography)