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


An Evening with Sharks

Bottlenose Dolphins

Invasive Species

Wildlife Spotlight:
Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata)

FMSA Events


Sharks, Shopping & Cervezas! Come see the Shark film, support FMSA and enjoy refreshments at the Sports Basement in the Presidio, July 19th, 5-8pm!

Visit the Humpbacks and amazing sealife on our July 28th Whale Watching trip!


Job Opening at FMSA!  We are seeking to add new members to our Board of Trustees. This is a volunteer position.


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.


Sanctuary Explorers Camp enrollment now open! Explore the hidden treasures of our coast, become a junior marine scientist, and help protect our local marine sanctuaries – all in one exciting week.  Scholarships available!

Camp Sessions:
Session A (ages 8-11): July 23 - 27
Session B (ages 10-13): August 13-17

For more information call Sara Heintzelman at 415-561-6625 x304


July 17 California Academy of Sciences Lecture: New Guardians of the Golden Gate, 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm, 875 Howard St. - Sequoia Boardroom.


July 27-29 Mono Lake - A Natural history Tour. Join Pt. Reyes Field Seminars to one of California's most amazing lakes!


August 10 "The Life of Skulls", a film about Ray 'Bones' Bandar by Beth Cataldo, 7pm at Red Barn, Pt. Reyes National Seashore.  Q & A after the film.skulls of animals.





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 Uebers, 12 Noon, at the Farallon Restaurant in San Francisco.


Donate to FMSA Today!






An Evening with Sharks

shark swimming over a reef On Thursday, July 19th, David McGuire will be showing his film "Sharks: Stewards of the Reef" at the Sports Basement in the Presidio. The film examines the escalating threats to Pacific reef shark populations including habitat destruction of reef ecosystems and over fishing. These acts are causing Pacific reef shark populations to plummet.  The most brutal assault threatening shark abundance is that of “finning” sharks for shark fin soup. The film includes compelling interviews with leading marine biologists and conservationists revealing the driving forces behind the drastic reduction of many shark populations.

FMSA Executive Director Linda Hunter sat down with filmmaker David McGuire to talk about his film, how and why he got involved in the sharks' world and what can be done to protect these indispensable top predators.

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Bottlenose Dolphins Splash Through SF Bay

bottlenose dolphins in the bayIf you’re surfing at Ocean Beach and see a gray dorsal fin rise out of the water, look twice before you panic, it may only be a bottlenose dolphin trying to catch a wave.  Long considered a tropical species, bottlenose dolphins have been journeying more and more into Bay Area waters.  In the past month alone, there have been numerous sightings just off the FMSA office at Crissy Field.

Bottlenose Dolphins range all over the Pacific, from South America to Southern California, but not until the El Niño of 1983 were they spotted off the Northern California coast.  Aboard a whale watching cruise in the Gulf of the Farallones during the 1982-83 El Nino event, several marine life enthusiasts were relishing an encounter with a mixed-species pod of dolphins.

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The Invasion

Ship discharging ballastBiological invasions—the introduction and spread of exotic organisms in regions outside of their native range—has emerged as a major environmental, economic and public health problem tied to the rapid, ongoing expansion in international trade and travel. Recent studies have found that exotic organisms constitute the second greatest threat to biological diversity, ranking below habitat loss and degradation but far above pollution and over harvesting.

The introduction of harmful non-native, or "invasive," plant and animal species can cause irreversible harm to delicately balanced ecosystems, threatening native species by competing for food and spreading diseases.

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Wildlife Spotlight: Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata)

Tufted puffin on a cliff.When traveling the offshore waters of the Sanctuary, it is always a delight to see Tufted Puffins, a vibrant flash of color amidst the exciting, but generally monotone seabirds and cetaceans of the Farallones.  Their breeding plumage lasts from early March until mid October and is notable for the large bright orange beak and long yellow feather tufts behind each eye, distinct on a white and black face.  During the winter months the white on the face and the tufts disappear, but the beak remains orange.

Puffins are a member of the alcid family of seabirds, which include auks, auklets, guillemots, murres and murrelets. These hearty birds are distinguished by their stout, streamlined bodies; short, narrow wings; thick, waterproof plumage; short tails; and feet set well back on the body. They are around 30 cm in length and weigh about three quarters of a kilogram.  Puffins spend most of their rugged life on the open ocean and only come to land during the breeding season.

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