The Monterey Bay Aquarium was the filming location for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. In the movie, what was called the “Cetacean Institute” and was supposed to be in Sausalito, just across the Golden Gate from San Francisco, was actually in Monterey. The area where the aquarium is located was in the news this week for whale sightings in the adjacent bay.
A pod of orcas that normally inhabit waters further north in the Pacific Northwest were spotted off Monterey.
Transient orcas are a common sight in Monterey Bay. However, the L-pod are among the southern resident killer whales who’s traditional hunting grounds are in Seattle’s Puget Sound and Vancouver Island.
A shortage of chinook salmon has put a strain on the pod. Since 1995, the L-pod population has dropped from 58 orcas to 35.