Exploring a deep-sea ridge off Northern California, scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have discovered a unique undersea nursery, where groups of fish and octopus brood their eggs, like chickens on their nests. This is the first time that marine biologists have directly observed any deep-sea fish brooding its eggs.
Oceanographers from more than a dozen prestigious research institutions have converged on Monterey Bay this month to examine the bay as never before, collaborating in a unique research experiment. They have come together as part of the Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network (AOSN) program, funded by the Office of Naval Research.
In photographs, it looks like a big red spaceship cruising the ocean depths. But it’s actually a new species of jelly that was discovered and described by scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. MBARI scientists published their research on this unusual animal in a recent online version of the journal Marine Biology.
In the late 1930s, California’s sardines supported the biggest fishery in the western hemisphere, with more than half a million tons of fish caught each year. By the mid-1950s, the sardines had virtually disappeared. Although fishing pressure may have played a part in this process, new research published in the current issue of Science indicates that the sardines’ demise was part of a 50-year cycle that affects not just California, but the entire Pacific Ocean.