MOSS LANDING, Calif. (KGO) --A marine sciences laboratory in Monterey Bay is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week. One of the things researchers are trying to understand is the behavior of the whales close to shore near Pacifica. Here's a look at the other projects they're working on.
This is a world-class operation. But what is even more impressive are the professors, and their students, who are truly dedicated to making a defense in the world through their research.
In the heart of Monterey Bay is where you'll find the Moss Landing Marine Labs.
"A lot of people that obviously live on land, don't understand how important the oceans are to their life," said Moss Landing Marine Labs Director Jim Harvey.
Harvey leads the consortium of seven Cal State campuses dedicated to the marine sciences. And says the research being done here could have a global impact.
"We get a lot of our food from the oceans, our oceans control the climate to a large extent," he said. "So unless we understand what the impacts are, and how to mitigate them, we're doomed as a species."
The campus is celebrating it is 50th anniversary.
Multiple research projects are underway, including the study of whales.
In recent years, scientists say there have been a growing number of instances where whales are struck by boats.
So researchers at Moss Landing are currently tracking whales to better understand how they react, and why they aren't able to get around the boats.
Another major topic around there is climate change.
Scott Hamilton currently researches rockfish.
"What we're really trying to figure out is how climate change might impact some of the most important fishery species that live here on the west coast," he said.
Scientists there are also focused on aquaculture, which now provides 50 percent of all fish consumed worldwide.
Michael Graham says more needs to be done to get the U.S. up to par with other countries.
"We want to look at nutritional values," he said. "We want to look at whether certain species will be hot items in the future. And if so, how are they going to be grown?"
And it's that focus on the future that will guide the laboratory for another 50 years.