Showing posts tagged as "Conservation"
You can see yellowfin and bluefin tuna in our Open Sea exhibit, but did you know that next door we work with Stanford University to study and help save these prized and threatened animals?
Ever wonder what happened to the olive ridley sea turtle that beached itself near the Aquarium a year ago? It was cared for at the Aquarium for several weeks, then transferred to SeaWorld San Diego, and released in August. Tracking data indicates she’s traveled hundreds of miles to Baja California and is doing well!
Love sharks? We just added a beautiful sandbar shark to the Open Sea exhibit. Believe it or not, this shark originally came from Hawaii on an airplane. Since then, it’s been growing up behind the scenes at our Animal Research and Care Center in Marina, until we felt it was large enough to go on display!
Some teeth! Today’s fact for Shark Week: Despite popular perceptions of sharks as invincible, shark populations around the world are declining because of overfishing, habitat destruction and other human activities. That’s why we’re working hard to save sharks.
Last time you visited the Aquarium did you talk with teens on our staff who know more about marine biology than the average adult? Amy Sublett is one of them. And it didn’t happen by chance. The 17-year old, along with nearly 150 high-school students, are dedicating their summer as Teen Conservation Leaders while developing important job and life skills, and building self-confidence.
“The initial two-week training session was intense but fun!” says Amy. “It forced me to come out of my shell and interact.”
After the training, where Aquarium staff teach the teens basic marine biology and ocean conservation, the Teen Conservation Leaders commit to one of three adventure tracks for the summer: camp leader, teacher or Aquarium guest experience. The decision was easy for Amy.
“I love to be outdoors and enjoy introducing children to science, so working with the Aquarium’s summer science camps was a natural fit,” she says.
While working with our Young Women in Science program Amy mentored middle-school-aged girls with kayaking, boogie boarding and sand crab monitoring activities, to name a few.
“It’s amazing to see how much the girls grow within the period of a single week,” Amy reflects.
After spending some time with Amy, I’m pretty confident that the same can be said about her and her experience in the Teen Conservation Leaders program.
The Teen Conservation Leaders program is open to young people ages 14 to 18, with activities throughout the year as well as the summer immersion program.
It’s never too early to start planning for next summer!
The California State Sea Otter Fund passed, and not just by a whisker! The fund now has $288,817 to support sea otter research and conservation in 2012. Thanks for checking the box on your state tax form! If you’ve yet to file for 2011, you can still contribute.
Got plans for Earth Day, April 22? Why not celebrate with a visit to the Aquarium? We’d love to know your ideas for helping protect the planet and promoting conservation of our oceans in the coming year! Learn about some of our initiatives.
We recently added a bluefin tuna to our renovated Open Sea exhibit—at more than 150 pounds, it’s the largest one we’ve ever moved from our new Animal Research and Care Center (ARCC) in Marina! We also added three yellowfin tuna. Learn more about tuna research and conservation at the Aquarium.
We’re saddened to announce that the young great white shark we released on October 25 off the coast of southern California has died. This is a very difficult day for all of us at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and for everyone who saw and cared about this animal.
Based on the shark’s behavior and overall condition prior to release, our white shark team had every confidence that he would do well back in the wild — as was the case with five other young great whites released from the aquarium.
Unfortunately, according to data from the tracking tag he carried, the shark died shortly after he was released.
“Our Husbandry team is unrivaled in its knowledge of young great white sharks, and I’m so proud of the passion and dedication they demonstrate each day,” said aquarium Managing Director Jim Hekkers. “This is a difficult time for all of us –- and especially for the team members who devoted so much attention and care to an animal that had such a powerful impact on the attitudes of our visitors toward conservation of ocean wildlife.”
While this is a setback, in the weeks to come, our white shark team will review its procedures and protocols to see if there are any changes we should consider so we can continue to do what we do best: give our animals exceptional care and, through our living exhibits, inspire visitors from around the world to care about –- and care for -– ocean wildlife.
Right now, while we are shocked and saddened by this loss of this shark, we remain fully committed to our white shark work.
Five other great white sharks have been successfully returned to the wild after spending periods between 11 days and six-and-a-half months at the aquarium. One other animal –- a small shark that fed only once during its 11 days on exhibit –- was also transported south to Goleta for release. Four other sharks were released in Monterey Bay.
Tracking data from all five sharks confirmed they survived their release, though one of the sharks died four months later in a fisherman’s net in Baja California.
Exhibit of young great white sharks is one element of Project White Shark, our work with research colleagues to learn more about white sharks in the wild as well as to inspire visitors to become advocates for shark conservation by bringing them face to face with sharks on exhibit.
Since 2002, we’ve tagged and tracked 47 juvenile great white sharks off southern California. Earlier this year, we were the lead sponsor of legislation enacted in California that outlaws the shark fin trade –- a major factor in the global decline of shark populations.
In the past decade, we’ve allocated nearly $2 million toward studies of adult and juvenile great white sharks in the wild –- research aimed at better understanding and protecting white shark populations.