REEF at the Monterey Bay NMS

REEF Stats

Top 10 Most Frequently Sighted Fish
  1. Blue Rockfish
  2. Painted Greenling
  3. Kelp Rockfish
  4. Blackeye Goby
  5. Pile Perch
  6. Kelp Greenling
  7. Striped Seaperch
  8. Black Perch
  9. Gopher Rockfish
  10. Lingcod

Educational Resources

Blue Frontier @ National Geographic - features classroom activities that evaluate the effect of water quality

About the Sanctuary

This sanctuary is the Nation's largest, protecting an area nearly the size of the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. The area features rugged, rocky shores and an underwater canyon that is over ten thousand feet deep. Upwelling of deep ocean currents contribute to the high productivity of sanctuary waters. This sanctuary is home to, or a migration corridor for, 26 species of marine mammals, 94 species of seabirds, 345 species of fish, 4 species of sea turtles, 31 phyla of invertebrates, and over 450 species of marine algae. MBNMS Website

Current REEF Projects

Annual REEF Field Surveys

Fish Features

The six species featured represent some of the most common fishes found in the MBNMS and also some of the most interesting. Black and Yellow Rockfish: Similar to grouper, rockfish are long lived (some have been found to live 80 years). Vulnerable to fishing pressure, rockfish species have seriously declined in numbers. This species' body markings give it an easy name. Rainbow Seaperch: Perch are a common sight along the US west coast. The rainbow perch is quite colorful and gets its name from the rainbow colors on its pelvic fin. It is distinguished from other kelp by the copper body bars and small black spot at the corner of its mouth. Coraline Sculpin: This tiny member of the sculpin family is commonly found nestled in the brightly colored cup coral and on pink coraline algae covered rocks. Its pointed snout helps distinguish it from other fishes.
Senorita: This small but often abundant fish is usually found in mid water picking plankton. The cigar shaped, orangish body and black marking on the tail are good ID marks. Unlike most wrasse, the senorita do not have different color phases for the terminal and initial phases. Painted Greenling: The greenling family is only represented on the west coast of the US and Canada. The painted greenling is a small bottom dwelling fish that is commonly sighted from California to BC. Its pointed snout and red bars are good visual ID characteristics. Speckled Sanddab: This very small flatfish (usually about 4" long) can be found scurrying along in sand/rubble areas.
Design by Joanne Kidd, development by Ben Weintraub