NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Instagram photos and videos

Grateful for this amazing Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) today. We are so fortunate to see these magical and powerful creatures in Monterey Bay.


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Heroes in training: last month, #MontereyBay National Marine Sanctuary staff and partners were trained to safely disentangle whales. One skill they practiced was how to attach a telemetry buoy to gear entangling a whale, which allows rescuers to track the whale's movements. Knowing where the whale is helps buy more time for experts to attempt to set it free. .
Disentangling whales is extremely dangerous work and requires expertise and training. Responders never get into the water with a whale, and nor should you! If you see an entangled whale, please alert your local marine mammal stranding network. Learn how at fisheries.noaa.gov/report.
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#EarthIsBlue #Ocean #Whale #California #Training #Conservation (Photo: Nicole Capps/NOAA)
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[Image description: three people wearing helmets pull on rope while aboard a small inflatable boat.]


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Last night at sunset, I watched gray whales from shore practically standing on their heads as they socialized and nursed young in the shallows. Today, equipped with a proper camera, I paddled out to try and get a different perspective. While the whales had moved on from the area, I’m never disappointed by a day sea kayaking anywhere on the central coast of California. Harbor porpoises are the smallest of cetaceans here. Elusive and inconspicuous at the surface, only in the calmest of sea conditions can you hear their soft exhales in time to catch a glimpse as they pass. #luckyshot #harborporpoises #cetaceans #california #centralcoast #seakayaking #ocean #marinesanctuary #itsagreatdaytobealive


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Is this Cockerell's dorid wearing orange in decoration? Perhaps, but these q-tip-like appendages serve another function. They're called cerata, and function sort of like external gills, aiding the dorid in respiration!
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#EarthIsBlue #Nudibranch #SeaSlug #Dorid #Orange #Underwater #Diving #Ocean #Nature (Photo: Steve Lonhart/NOAA, taken in #MontereyBay National Marine Sanctuary)


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Talk about a big bite! Here, a white-spotted rose anemone clings to and attempts to ingest a moon jelly in #MontereyBay National Marine Sanctuary. Although the jelly is twice the size of the anemone, most of the jelly is water, so it's not an impossibly large meal. While moon jellies are usually open ocean species, sometimes oceanographic conditions bring them closer to shore – and into the mouths of creatures like this anemone.
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#EarthIsBlue #Anemone #Invertebrate #Jellyfish #MoonJelly #Ocean #Snack #Cnidaria (Photo: Steve Lonhart/NOAA)


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Cod you come up with a fintastic caption for this lingcod in #MontereyBay National Marine Sanctuary?
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#EarthIsBlue #CaptionContest #Fish #Ocean #California #Pun #Cod #Lingcod (Photo: Chad King/NOAA)


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A Sea Otter Mom & Pup Floating Above a Kelp Forest.
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This is a #repost from @noaasanctuaries via @PhotoAroundApp
Today is the #InternationalDayOfForests! Did you know that there are forests beneath the waves, too? Kelp forests like those found in #MontereyBay National Marine Sanctuary provide shelter and food for a wide array of ocean life -- like sea otters!
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#EarthIsBlue #SeaOtter #Otter #OtterlyAdorable #Kelp #KelpForest #Ocean #Nature #SeaOtterMom #SeaOtterMomAndPup (Photo: Douglas Croft)


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The fish seemed to be interested in the jellies, but I couldn’t be sure as to their exact intentions. The current was forcing the drifting jellies into a vertical wall of the offshore pinnacle, which sent many of the jellies bouncing off the granite, only to tumble down the slope in an uncontrollable manner. Tentacle over bell they pulsed to right themselves, with some more successful than others. It was at this point of vulnerability that the blue rockfish would swoop in and begin to take bites out of the jelly’s long, less-potent oral tentacles. These frilly tentacles have weaker stinging cells and are the site of initial digestion when jellies capture prey. Perhaps the rockfish are consuming not just the jelly (which is mostly water) but also whatever the jelly has caught. Either way, it’s clear that jellies are indeed a food source for complex animals like these long-lived rockfish. .
#monterey #jelly #rockfish #conservation #fish #scuba #diving


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Harbor Seal in Monterey, California.

Sea Lions have ear flaps and seals do not. Another way to tell them apart is how they walk on land. Sea Lions walk upright and have large flippers. Seals “belly-flop” and wriggle on their stomachs across the land.

Don’t be confused however, both are equally agile in the water.

#seal #harborseal #pinniped #marinemammals #kelp #monterey #montereybaymarinesanctuary #california #greenwater #gopro #goprohero4 #scuba #pointlobos #pointlobosstatereserve #pacificocean #aqualung #atomicaquatics #cressi1946 #sharkbait #underwaterphotography #oceanconservation #underwaterphoto #uwphotography


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"ROAR!! Just kidding, I'm a whale." Although humpback whales are large, they only feed on krill and small fish.
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Photographer Douglas Croft snapped this photo of a humpback whale taking a big gulp of anchovies! Humpback whales and other whales flock to the nutrient-rich waters of #MontereyBay National Marine Sanctuary to feed. By winter, most humpback whales leave the sanctuary for warmer waters in Mexico, but some juveniles and non-breeding adults stick around a little longer to take advantage of the over-whale-mingly large feast. .
#EarthIsBlue #WhaleWeek #Whale #HumpbackWhale #Lunch #Meal #Anchovy #Roar (Photo: @douglascroftimages)


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regram @justinhofman
Cozy in a dry suit and enjoying the silence of my rebreather, I sat on the bottom as hundreds of brown sea nettles pulsed past me like a wave of animated gelatin. It was hypnotic and easy to lose track of time and space. These jellies show up in late summer as the plankton bloom peaks and continue to grow throughout the fall until the first big winter storm dashes most of them upon the shore and pulls the rest out to sea.
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More pics in today's story
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@sea_legacy | #turningthetide | #monterey | #jellyfish


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Watch out, little purple sea urchins -- you're one of the leather star's favorite foods! This leather star may be scoping out a sea urchin snack in the kelp forest of #MontereyBay National Marine Sanctuary.
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Left unchecked, sea urchins will chow down on huge amounts of kelp, so by eating them, leather stars and other sea stars help keep kelp forest ecosystems healthy and balanced.
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#EarthIsBlue #SeaStar #Starfish #⭐️ #KelpForest #Ecosystem #SeaUrchin #Echinoderm #Ocean #California (Photo: Chad King/NOAA)


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Time for a nap? These northern elephant seal pups are taking a well-earned snooze. Each year from December through February, elephant seals haul out on beaches along #MontereyBay National Marine Sanctuary. Here, they rest, mate, and pup. Adult elephant seals don't eat while hauled out during this time, though, so they need to conserve their energy! If you see elephant seals on the beach, please stay back at least 50 feet to help them stay healthy.
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#EarthIsBlue #Seal #ElephantSeal #Pup #Nap #Rest #Beach #Ocean #California #Wildlife #Conservation (Photo: Phil Adams)


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Revisiting a long time favorite underwater image from way back in 2007. One of my goals for 2018 is to get surgery on my ear and get underwater again. I may need to get readers put into my mask though, my close distance vision has gone downhill with old age. 🤓
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#aquaticadigital #scubadivingmag #scubadiverlife #sportdivermag #seemonterey #montereybayaquarium #montereybay #rawcalifornia #wildcalifornia #wildbayarea #blackandwhiteonly #monochromatic #underwaterworld


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Did somebody say weekend? This elephant seal was spotted hanging out on the shores of #MontereyBay National Marine Sanctuary.
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Each year, elephant seals haul out on these beaches to molt, give birth, and mate. These elephant seals need their rest, and approaching them can be dangerous – always give them plenty of space! If you're looking to get a seal photo like this one, a zoom lens is key.
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#EarthIsBlue #Seal #Weekend #Ocean #Beach #Relax #Animal #Conservation #AnimalPhotography #NaturePhotography #Nature (Photo: Steve Lonhart/NOAA)


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You never know what you'll find in a tide pool! 🐙 Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar Sarah Kienle got a treat when she spotted this feisty red octopus while exploring the shores of #MontereyBay National Marine Sanctuary.
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#Octopus #Cephalopod #Tidepool #RedOctopus #California #Ocean #Nature (Video: @sarahstachurakienle)


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#seagull in the wind the beginning of my micro series: #seagullinthewind


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Watching #pelicans while we eat #bagels ( #pelican )


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Leap into the new year with this Pacific white-sided dolphin in #MontereyBay National Marine Sanctuary! What will you do in 2018 to help protect the ocean and Great Lakes?
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#EarthIsBlue #NewYear #HappyNewYear #2018 #Dolphin #Ocean #Resolution #NewYearsResolution (Photo: @douglascroftimages)


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“Let’s go to the Beach,beach”~Ninki Minjaj


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Hamming with @michibretz


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