That (First) Time I Went To Tentacles: Cuttle Edition!

The first five pictures are the incredibly charismatic and active Dwarf cuttlefish (Sepia bandiensis). The action sequence is two (purple) males comically fighting over an (orange) female. There were also ghostly Pharaoh cuttlefish (Sepia pharaonis) sitting quietly in dark substrate, and one big bruiser Broadclub cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus). 

I don’t really have cuttlefish experience… but I could watch the bandiensis doodle around all day! I was so impressed!

So I don't know if you guys know this but Monterey Bay Aquarium Have Live Web Cams of some of their tanks

Monterey Bay Aquarium is hands down my favorite aquarium, and since I don’t currently live close to it anymore it’s nice to know they have live feeds of some of their exhibits including their Deep Sea tank

Their Kelp Forest

as well as many more.

The live cams are really relaxing and great if you don’t have your own aquariums to watch, or if you just want to see penguins walk around.


"Was it something I said?" When a leopard shark enters the picture, anchovies head the other direction. For these tiny fish, it’s all about power in numbers. With all those moving targets, it’s hard for a predator to focus on just one! 

Learn more


From Drifter to Dynamo: The Story of Plankton

Most plankton are tiny drifters, wandering in a vast ocean. But where wind and currents converge they become part of a grander story… an explosion of vitality that affects all life on Earth, including our own. Watch the latest “Deep Look” video from KQED and pbsdigitalstudios:


Field sketching at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We were encouraged to take notes while drawing, and I often went a bit overboard with unimportant/obvious insights. 

I’m overly proud of that cuttlefish, especially the fin and how it’s undulating, and the close-up study of the eye. 

A Transformational $10 Million Gift from Eric and Wendy Schmidt Expands the Global Reach of Seafood Watch

Seafood is a global market – one that needs a global approach to sustainability. Now, thanks to a transformational $10 million gift from Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Monterey Bay Aquarium will expand the international scope of our work to shift the seafood supply chain in more sustainable directions.

With the grant, we’ll accelerate our collaborations with food industry leaders, expert bodies and key NGOs to transform the way seafood is caught and farmed worldwide.

Since the inception of our Seafood Watch program in 1999, the Aquarium has become the most respected source of science-based information about sustainable seafood for major North American buyers and – increasingly – for international colleagues in business, government and the NGO sector as well.

Tackling international challenges

The five-year grant from The Schmidt Family Foundation allows us to integrate the markets-based work of Seafood Watch with our policy and research expertise to address growing challenges in global fisheries and in aquaculture production far beyond U.S. shores.

The grant will let us work more effectively on urgent global seafood challenges – notably by engaging with leading foodservice companies, international certification bodies and major seafood consuming nations, and by advancing seafood traceability to enable buyers to be confident in carrying out their commitments to purchase more seafood from sustainable sources and to reward better performing fishing and aquaculture practices.

This work will rely on science-based conservation criteria and market incentives to shift seafood production worldwide in more sustainable directions.

Remarkable progress, and more to come

“We have made remarkable progress in the last few years, changing perceptions and practices among business and the public,” said Executive Director Julie Packard. “While we’ve seen tremendous progress in recovery of U.S. fisheries, so much more needs to be done globally to ensure food security and healthy oceans for the future. It’s gratifying to have our successes recognized by the Schmidts. With their support, we will now be able to accomplish so much more.”

“For more than 15 years, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program has led the way in providing critical, science-based information about our seafood population so businesses and consumers across North America can choose seafood that has been fished or farmed in a way that protects sea life and their habitats,” said Wendy Schmidt, co-founder with her husband of The Schmidt Family Foundation and The Schmidt Ocean Institute. “Eric and I are delighted to provide the resources that will allow the Seafood Watch program to expand internationally, and help ensure that fisheries across the world have access to the kind of information that will allow them to employ practices that protect the health of our oceans.”

Schmidt Family leadership

The Schmidt Family Foundation advances the development of renewable energy and the wiser use of natural resources and houses its grant-making operation in The 11th Hour Project, which supports more than 150 nonprofit organizations in program areas including climate and energy, ecological agriculture, human rights, and our maritime connection.

In 2009, the Schmidts created the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), and in 2012 launched the research vessel, Falkor, as a mobile platform to advance ocean exploration, discovery, and knowledge, and catalyze sharing of information about the oceans.

In keeping with the couple’s commitment to ocean health issues, Wendy Schmidt has partnered with XPRIZE to sponsor the $1.4 million Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup XCHALLENGE, awarded in 2011, and the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, a prize that will respond to the global need for better information about the process of ocean acidification. It will be awarded this year.

Sustainable seafood leader

Over the years the Aquarium team has led the sustainable seafood movement and is today counted on by culinary experts, decision-makers, major businesses and public agencies to provide rigorous scientific data and policy guidance to shift fishing and aquaculture practices in sustainable directions.

With support from Eric and Wendy Schmidt, we’ll “take advantage of a unique moment in time to bring our ocean conservation programs to a new level of impact,” said Julie Packard. “I’m confident we’ll be able to accelerate progress in changing the way people and businesses view their seafood and use what we know about global fisheries and aquaculture to transform the marketplace.”


Behind-the-Scenes look at Shedd Aquarium’s sea otter pup

On Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 12 p.m. CT, Shedd Aquarium and Monterey Bay Aquarium will host a Google Hangout On Air session with the public to share the latest progress and information on rescued sea otter Pup 681.

Moderated by legendary journalist and aquarium supporter Bill Kurtis, the live, online event will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the growing sea otter pup and first-hand accounts from Shedd and Monterey Bay experts involved in her rescue and continual, round-the-clock care.

Shedd, a recognized leader in animal care and conservation, welcomed the orphaned southern sea otter pup (Enhydra lutris nereis) from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as part of a collaborative partnership with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Program – a leading authority for the rescue, care and conservation of the threatened species.

Temporarily known as Pup 681, the female sea otter pup was found on September 30 on Coastways Beach in California between the San Mateo and Santa Cruz county lines. A citizen on an evening walk heard the newborn otter’s cry and quickly notified The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC). TMMC staff contacted Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Program which worked with officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to recover the pup and transport her to Monterey Bay Aquarium.

After accepting Monterey Bay Aquarium’s call to provide the sea otter pup with a permanent home, Pup 681 arrived at Shedd on Oct. 28 where staff are ensuring she thrives and reaches milestones needed to grow into a healthy adult otter. She is the second pup from the threatened southern sea otter population to reside at Shedd.

Photography by Brenna Hernadez/Shedd Aquarium

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