Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association protecting our ocean wilderness through public stewardship
August 2007 Protecting Our Ocean Wilderness Through Public Stewardship   www.farallones.org Subscribe


A Movable Feast

Squid Invasion: Red Devils of the Sea Head North

Our Future Sanctuary Stewards

Wildlife Spotlight: Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)

FMSA Events


OceanFest raffle tickets are on sale now! Fabulous prizes include a kayaking trip to Baja, surf and sailing lessons and weekend get-aways. All proceeds benefit FMSA. Available at the Visitor Center or by calling 415-561-6625 x 307 or contacting jmohr@farallones.org or via our website.

raffle ticket


Whale watching trips!  Join us on a trip to the Farallons for the amazing wildlife!

Sunday, August 19th ~

Sunday, September 16th ~

Saturday, September 22nd ~


August 17 An evening about whales and their sounds on Friday at the OCSC Marina in Berkeley.


August 21 Academy Lecture Series - The Fragile Edge: Wonders and Warnings from the Oceans, 2pm and once again at 7pm.


August 25 Kayak trip in Tomales Bay! Explore the wildlife and beautiful coast line of Tomales. First time kayakers welcome! Contact Peter Winch at pwinch@farallones.org or (415) 561 6625 ext 310


August 30 Discussion on the "Future of Seafood" with Paul Johnson and Ed Ueber, 12 Noon, at the Farallon Restaurant in San Francisco.


September 15 The 23rd Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, 9 AM to Noon. Get involved with the Sanctuary at 3 locations. Join us in San Mateo, Crissy Field and Pt. Reyes National Seashore.  For details contact Joanne Mohr at jmohr@farallones.org or 415.561.6625 x307


September 15 - October 7 COASTWEEKS. Check out the coastal events happening in your county!


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Ocean Feast: Humpbacks and sea lions and hundreds of thousands of birds – oh my!

Humpback lungefeeding with sea lions swimming about.On July 28th, an intrepid group of wildlife enthusiasts left the Marina Harbor in route to the Farallon Islands aboard the SuperFish with veteran captain Mick Menigoz and naturalist and marine biologist, Carol Keiper.

Though the seas were rough, the passengers were rewarded by an amazing display of wildlife. Just north of the islands, they could see hundreds of sea lions porpoising in the surf while seabirds dove raucously from above. Then, in their midst, five blows – humpback whales!

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Squid Invasion: Red Devils of the Sea Come North

Humboldt SquidOff the coast of Baja California in Mexico, a net full of squid has just been hauled aboard a fishing vessel and is now suspended above the hold. Something seems strange, when you realize that these squid aren’t just passively sitting in the net awaiting to be unloaded, but are actually eating each other inside the net.

A marine biologist from Florida, who witnessed this cannibalistic scene while studying the Humboldt squid off of Baja California in the early 1980’s, remarked that if anything would have fallen in the net of Humboldt squid, including a human, it would have been devoured instantly. Humboldt squid, also known as Jumbo squid, grow up to seven feet long, have eight arms covered with teeth lined suckers, and have powerful beaks that are capable of ripping off orange-sized chunks of flesh from anything they can get a hold of.

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Our Future Sanctuary Stewards

Intern Joseph bird wathing with camp kids.Mid August marks the end of Sanctuary Explorers Camp, where young, curious kids from diverse San Francisco backgrounds come to Crissy Field to learn about the ocean and marine conservation issues. Each summer FMSA, supported by the Department of Children, Youth & their Families, offers the camp to children from SFRP Recreation Centers throughout the city, including the deaf and visually impaired children of Project Insight.

Our Instructors lead the students on a weeklong adventure up and down the coast, discovering the many creatures that live in our Sanctuary. The students explore tide pools, monitor sand crabs, visit aquariums and kayak in Richardson Bay. By the end of the camp, the 8 to 13-year-olds are junior stewards, attuned to the importance of protecting our vital oceans.

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Wildlife Spotlight: Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)

Blue whaleRight in your ocean backyard this month and in September, you can see the world’s largest population of the earth’s largest animals: blue whales.

Approximately 2,000 blue whales live off the California Coast and migrate to warmer waters in Mexico and Costa Rica during the winter. These giants come to the waters around the Farallon Islands to feed on their favorite food, the shrimp-like krill. Krill are abundant in the area in late summer and early fall because of upwelling, the process of deeper, cold, nutrient-rich waters moving upward to the ocean surface due to the offshore movement of surface waters. Blue whales must eat 2-4 tons of krill a day during the feeding season.

Some blue whales are more than 100 feet (30.5 m) long, but 70-90 feet (23-27 m) is typical— about as long as three school buses. An average weight for an adult is 200,000 to 300,000 pounds (100-150 tons). Its heart alone is as large as a small car.

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