On Monday afternoon I visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I had tried to tide pool before I went to the aquarium, but even though it was low tide I didn’t really see very much, no starfish anyway. Part of the problem was that I was a little leery of hopping around on wet and slippery, rocking rocks.
After I found a parking place close to the aquarium and then found a bill changer to get quarters to feed the parking meter, I went to the aquarium. It was mid-afternoon and the aquarium was packed. The place was overrun with children.
In my humble opinion the forte of the Monterey Bay Aquarium is their invertebrate collection. The apex of this collection is the aquarium’s jellyfish collection. The pictures with this post highlight these attributes.
The remaining picture, the only fish picture, shows sardines. At one time, early in the twentieth century sardines were king in Monterey. John Steinbeck wrote Cannery Row after having worked in one of the Monterey’s sardine canneries. The Monterey Bay Aquarium was built on the remains of just one such cannery. The area of Monterey that the aquarium is located in is know as Cannery Row.
The sardines were fished out of Monterey Bay, just like the mackerel before them. When the sardine population crashed, the canneries soon followed. The sardine population is only now returning. Nowadays, the fisherman of Monterey Bay fish for squid. From my folks house you can see the fishing fleet at night. The fleet of about twenty boats lines-up side-by-side, in two parallel rows, with about a football field between the two rows. The boats all shine lights into the intervening space. The bright lights attract the squids to the surface. Once enough squid are there, the fishermen pull in their nets.