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Andrew
02-17-2005, 09:43 AM
MBA release/email newsletter

Monterey Bay Aquarium "Sea Notes" March 2005

Welcome to Sea Notes, your monthly email update from the Monterey
Bay Aquarium.

1. EXHIBIT NEWS: WHITE SHARK, SHARK TOUCH POOL, PACIFIC MACKEREL
She's been with us 156 days and continues to grow as she cruises
the Outer Bay with the tunas, sharks, sea turtles and other
fishes. Our aquarists estimate that she's added a few inches to
her initial five-foot length and between 10 and 20 pounds since
she weighed in at 62 pounds when she was placed in the Outer Bay.
We regularly post white shark updates in our What's New section.

The touch pool in "Sharks: Myth and Mystery" has a new
resident: a horn shark that was moved from the Kelp Gallery.
It's about 18 inches long and has been in its former home for
several years. It joins several big skates in the touch pool.
Volunteer guides also have shark and ray artifacts to share when
you visit.

There's a new school of about 350 Pacific mackerel in the Outer
Bay Life gallery. This species can live up to 18 years, so the
new fish should be with us for quite a while. In the wild, fishes
generally school by size, so you might find small mackerel
swimming with sardines and anchovies until they grow larger. (One
of the advantages of schooling is that everyone looks like
everyone else.) In fact, you may even spot a Pacific sardine or
two in the school we have on exhibit.

Visit What's New on our web site to learn about these and other
new arrivals in our exhibits.
http://www.mbayaq.org/news/

2. BEHIND THE SCENES: FEEDING THE WHITE SHARK
How do you handle a hungry white shark? With regular feedings of
her favorite foods. That's the approach our husbandry staff has
taken since bringing a white shark to the aquarium in September.

Twice each day, an aquarist prepares a meal: sometimes whole
mackerel, occasionally albacore tuna, often the shark's favorite:
wild-caught salmon, either steaks with the bone in, or fillets.
Each piece is threaded with a loop of string that's later tied to
a wire loop at the end of the feeding pole. And a vitamin
supplement is tucked into the fish: vitamin C and a commercial
shark and ray multivitamin. Aquarists will include an antibiotic
if the shark shows signs of developing a skin infection.

One aquarist is responsible for dipping the meal into the water
from a catwalk that extends over the Outer Bay, catching the
white shark's attention and trailing the fish along below the
surface until she feeds. Nearby, a second aquarist offers smaller
bites of salmon to the hammerheads, soupfins and Galapagos sharks
both to feed them and to distract them from the white shark's
meal. They also keep an eye out for hungry tunas that try to
snatch the food away.

Some days, the white shark feeds at both morning and afternoon
sessions; other days, she may take only a single meal.
Regardless, the aquarist records the weight of each piece of fish
and logs how much the shark ate that day. These data will help
determine how many calories she expends and how many she uses to
grow. The aquarists are refining a system to use laser
measurements to calculate her body weight and length so they can
track her growth with minimal hands-on contact.

If you visit during "Shark Days" on February 26-27, you could
win a behind-the-scenes tour of the top of the Outer Bay, the
exhibit that's home to the white shark. You'll find details at
http://www.mbayaq.org/vi/vi_aquarium/vi_aq_promotions.asp

3. PROMOTIONS & EVENTS: LOVE AT THE AQUARIUM, SHARK DAYS, DIA DEL
NINO, FAMILY TIME
Love at the Aquarium, February 19
There'll be romance in the air-and water-at the aquarium for
Valentine's Day. The party kicks off at 8 p.m. You can dance,
sample wine and Ghirardelli chocolates, and learn surprising
mating secrets of marine life.

Shark Days, February 26 and 27
This two-day event gives you an opportunity to get up close and
personal with these fascinating creatures. The weekend will
feature special auditorium programs, shark feeding shows and-
for a lucky few-a chance to go behind the scenes above the Outer
Bay exhibit.

Dia del Nino, April 24
Come celebrate children and families at the aquarium. Children
age 12 and under will be admitted free all day. We're planning
crafts, activities and Latin American performances throughout the
aquarium.

Family Time
Visit now and take advantage of our special family time coupon
offer-$49.95 for two adults and two children (ages 3 thru 17).
It's available only through our website, and only through May 31,
2005.
http://www.mbayaq.org/vi/vi_aquarium/vi_aq_coupon.asp

Check our online calendar for details and more events.
http://www.mbayaq.org/vi/vi_aquarium/vi_aq_calendar.asp

4. CONSERVATION IN ACTION: NEW SEAFOOD WATCH POCKET GUIDES,
MARINE PROTECTED AREAS, NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY SYMPOSIUM
We've created new seafood buying guides for Hawaii and the
Northeast U.S.-they include seafood most commonly found on the
menu in those regions along with health advisories. These new
guides, which join our West Coast, Midwest and Southeast regional
guides, help you make the best choices for healthy oceans and a
healthy you.

To download or order your new pocket guides, visit:
http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/seafoodwatch.asp

2005 is a critical year for the future of California's oceans.
The state is poised to implement the Marine Life Protection Act,
which authorizes new protections for ocean habitats and wildlife.
Between now and 2006, the state will designate a network of
marine protected areas along the central coast as a prelude to
establishing similar areas statewide by 2011.
One key element will be the creation of a network of fully
protected marine reserves. These reserves, which will be off-
limits to any removal of marine life, will identify waters
essential for the survival and recovery of marine life that is
now in serious decline.
Marine reserves protect ocean life and offer a glimpse of what
healthy coastal ecosystems should look like. They also serve as
nurseries for marine life, places where fishes can grow and
reproduce, and from which the young can repopulate surrounding
waters. There's solid science behind marine reserves and a
demonstrated need. But creating reserves requires tradeoffs,
including the closure of some waters to commercial and sport
fishing.
Through our Center for the Future of the Oceans, we're active in
the process. You can get involved too, by learning more and
writing to express your support for a comprehensive network of
ecosystem-based marine reserves. You'll find more at:
http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/mlpa/.

You can also send comments to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, State
Capitol Building Sacramento, CA 95814; or by email:
http://www.govmail.ca.gov.

The annual National Marine Sanctuary Symposium is on March 12.
This year's program at California State University,
Monterey Bay, "Tracking the Health of Our Sanctuary,"
highlights the findings of monitoring efforts within the
Sanctuary from the perspective of local scientists, citizen
volunteers and policy makers. The event is free.
Find out more and to pre-register:
http://www.mbnms-simon.org/symposium.php

5. FREE OFFERS: GIFT & BOOKSTORE DISCOUNT, SHARK WALLPAPER
This month's Sea Notes specials include a discount offer at our
Gift & Bookstores and free white shark wallpaper.
http://www.mbayaq.org/vi/vi_seanotes/vi_seanotes_specials.asp

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The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a non-profit institution. Our
mission is to inspire conservation of the oceans. You can support
our many education programs and marine research projects by:

- Becoming a member or making an online donation.
http://www.mbayaq.org/md/

- Sending a conservation-oriented electronic postcard to friends.
http://www.mbayaq.org/efc/efc_se/se_vwl_help.asp

We welcome your thoughts and comments.
(equarist@mbayaq.org)

Discuss this announcement here (http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/showthread.php?p=526458#post526458)