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MONTEREY BAY SANCTUARY: SPORADIC EVENTS
California sea lion Rare or unusual events occur occasionally in or near the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. These range from uncommon occurrences of marine organisms to natural or human-caused disturbances. Below are some sporadic events that are of general interest and may be correlated with monitoring trends.
Shark Attacks (2011, 2007, 2003) View project
Shark attacks involving humans are extremely rare events. Within the central California region the primary species involved in attacks on humans is the white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)...


Unusual pupping of California sea lions (2010) View project
The first half of 2010 has included an unusually high number of prematurely born California sea lions Zalophus californianus...


Fat Innkeeper worms wash ashore in large numbers (2009) View project
Large numbers of the fat innkeeper worms washed up on shore...


Brown pelican removed from endangered species list (2009) View project
While it may seem that much of the recent ocean news is gloomy, this is a success story!


Mola die off in Monterey Bay (2009) View project
In October 2009, citizen scientists, beachCOMBERS and divers reported a peak in the number of finless, eyeless Mola mola carcasses washing up on the beaches of Monterey Bay...


Dolphins kill harbor porpoise in Monterey Bay (2009) View project
The mechanism responsible for several recent strandings of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) along the California coast was recently captured on film: death by bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncates)...


Body of a Gray Whale Calf disposed of in the City Dump (2009) View project
When a California gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) yearling was spotted dead and drifting off the coast of Santa Cruz the morning of Wednesday, April 1st, attempts were made to bestow upon it a proper burial at sea...


Record Fires Break Out in Big Sur (2008) View project
A series of record-breaking wildfires burned through Big Sur during the summer of 2008...


Giant Squid Carcass Recovered off Santa Cruz (2008) View project
On June 24th, 2008, researchers from the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation (PSRF) recovered the floating carcass of a giant squid (Architeuthis dux)...


Whale Entanglement (2008) View project
On May 10th, 2008, a sub-adult humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) was found entangled in what was believed to be local crab fishing gear line in northern Monterey Bay...


Red Algae Linked to Seabird Stranding (2007) View project
When hundreds of dead and stranded seabirds began to appear on the beaches of Monterey Bay in 2007, biologists began investigating the cause of the unusual phenomenon...


Cosco Busan Oil Spill (2007) View project
On November 7th, 2007, the M/V (Merchant Vessel) Cosco Busan, an 810 ft long container vessel hit the base tower of the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge's western span as it made its way out of San Francisco Bay...


California Condor Feeding on Gray Whale Carcass (2006) View project
Wildlife biologists from the Ventana Wilderness Society (VWS) observed up to 5 individuals feeding upon a beached gray whale during the Summer of 2006...


Unusual Currents Bring Asian Floats to Shore (2006) View project
During March 2006 residents of San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties collected Asian floats on Sanctuary beaches. These floats are rarely seen on the central California coast...


Orca and Humpback Sighting (2005) View project
CIMT observers witnessed an interaction between a pod of 12 orcas and a pod of 4 humpback whales...


Humboldt Squid Found in Pebble Beach (2003) View project
In October 2003, a dozen Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas) squid were found stranded in Pebble Beach. These deep-sea organisms can grow up to 6 feet in length...


Duke Energy Power Plant Fire in Moss Landing (2003) View project
On July 8, 2003, a fire broke out in an old fuel-oil tank at the Duke Energy power plant in Moss Landing. Crews were dismantling the tank for removal when 5.7 million liters of leftover oil sludge somehow ignited. There was a series of explosions as nearby propane tanks also caught fire...


Sea Lions Invade Monterey Harbor (2003) View project
In the late spring and early summer months of 2003, hundreds of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) were spotted at Breakwater Cove in the Monterey Harbor. Approximately 600 sea lions converged onto the Coast Guard jetty, the harbor ramp, and dock areas...


Jellies Cover Beaches (2002, 2003) View project
Occasionally, by-the-wind-sailor jelly fish (Velella velella) wash up in droves. Sanctuary beaches have seen lots of these blue jellies in spring 2002 and April through August, 2003...


The Luckenbach Oil Spill (1997) View project
On July 14, 1953, a 468-foot freighter, the S.S. Jacob Luckenbach, sank in 180 feet of water near the Farallon Islands. The sunken ship leaked oil sporadically for many years, but was not directly linked to a major wildlife disaster until 2002...


Central California Flooding (1995) View project
During January and March of 1995, intense rainfall hit the California coast, causing widespread flooding and destruction...


Loma Prieta Earthquake (1989) View project
On October 17, 1989, a large earthquake occurred on the San Andreas Fault, causing extensive damage within 110 km of the epicenter in the Santa Cruz Mountains...


Pelagic Red Crabs Enter Monterey Bay (1982-83) View project
In 1982-83 there was an El Niño event that coincided with a large number of pelagic red crabs in the Monterey Bay. The Pelagic red crab (Pleuroncodes planipes) looks like a bright-red baby lobster...


Mexican Government Saves Elephant Seals from Extinction (1922) View project
Protections set forth by the Mexican government allow a small colony of between 20 and 100 individuals on Guadalupe Island to grow into nearly 160,000 elephant seals...


Historic Whaling in Moss Landing (1919 - 1926) View project
From 1919 to 1926 whaling was a common practice on the central California coast...
 
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