Visiting Monterey Bay Aquarium is always a treat. Located right on Cannery Row on Monterey Bay, it’s in the ideal location for an afternoon trip or a for a longer stay. I was lucky enough to get an invite after their visit to Symbi Biological a few weeks ago. Getting a chance to see how they raise jelly fish and their foods was a real treat for me and my family.
Upon arriving, we were greeted by Tommy Knowles, who I think has been raising jellyfish at the Aquarium for 13 years. He led us through some back rooms full of neat equipment and down a long hallway that just so happens to be right next to a million gallon tank on the other side of the wall. After going through the underground maze, we entered the jelly room full of special tanks called kreisels where they culture the jellyfish. Inside the jelly room, we met John Lambert who raises the food for the many types of jelly fish. Bubbling like columnar cauldrons, there were three types of alga being cultured for the jellies. On the other side of the room, they raised brine shrimp and on another wall they had some more bubbling tubes raising copepods, which are tiny crustaceans.
The jelly lab had a very familiar feel to it for me and I felt a kinship with these fellows almost instantly. After all, raising organisms no matter land or sea, is all pretty much the same thing. We all have challenges and work arounds that evolve through experience and passion for our work. It was an eye opening day and I truly appreciated the opportunity to see how things are done at the aquarium. I’m already thinking about brine shrimp as another alternative protein source. Stay tuned!