Seasons in the Sea - A month-by-month guide to Central California sea life

Section contents:

Gray whale fluke: Image credit-Steven Swartz, NOAA

Marine mammals

in July

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Marine mammal events in July:

  • Blue whales begin to arrive from the south in large numbers, congregating around Monterey Bay to feed on large, dense aggregations of adult krill.
  • Humpback whales, although present for several months, become more numerous, feeding on anchovies and krill.
  • Dall's porpoise and harbor porpoises are seen with newborn young, and may give birth along the Central Coast in June or July. Both adults and young will leave the Central Coast by the end of the month. The porpoises are transitory visitors to Monterey Bay, passing through to feed on market squid (April-May) juvenile rockfish (June) and anchovy and hake (July).
  • White-sided dolphins begin to arrive in the area toward the end of July as water temperatures become warmer.
  • Harbor seals moult; harbor-seal populations in Elkhorn Slough reach a peak due to newly independent young and moulting adults. >Sea otter pups start foraging for themselves as their mothers turn their attention to mating (fending off amorous males).
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