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Monterey Bay Whale Watch - Other Marine Life

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--- Fishes, Turtles, and Other Marine Life of Monterey Bay ---

Marine life diversity within the Monterey Bay region is high. Besides the easily visible species of marine mammals, other types of organisms numbering in the tens or hundreds of species inhabit the area: algae (including kelp), invertebrates, fishes, cephalopods (squids and octopus), gelatinous animals, sharks and rays, and sea turtles.

Sunfish thumbnail
Ocean Sunfish
(Mola Mola)

Extensive tide pools surrounding the Bay offer opportunities for investigating invertebrates and algae. However, many of the creatures inhabit deep water regions over the Monterey Submarine Canyon and are known only from samples collected by research ships and film taken by remote operated vehicles. Besides these nearshore and deepsea species, there are a few animals that because of their habits provide us with excellent opportunities to view them near the surface.

Blue Sharks are a frequent sight during summer and fall. These pelagic sharks move in from warmer offshore waters and are often seen swimming at the surface. Basking Sharks are rare but are occasionally seen feeding on dense swarms of copepods at the surface.

Turtle thumbnail
Leatherback Sea Turtle
Leatherback Sea Turtles may be seen during summer and fall feasting on dense aggregations of jellyfish. Ocean Sunfish or Mola Molas are regularly seen floating on their sides at the surface during the late summer and fall, but can be seen year-round.


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Monterey Bay Whale Watch, LLC
84 Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey, CA 93940
Phone 831-375-4658  

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Photographs by Nancy Black.