On this bright, sunny, winter morning with little swell or wind to speak of, we headed due west toward Point Dume. Our crew of Baykeeper staff and volunteers believed conditions were prime for observing recreational and commercial vessels along the Malibu coast. Our mission on this voyage was to not only collect and report data on maritime activities in and around the Dume MPAs, but also to capture photographs of easily identifiable landmarks denoting the Dume MPA boundary lines. Despite the near perfect conditions, all was quiet in the reserve. However, commercial fishing activity was identified just outside of the MPAs indicating that industrial fishing operations are aware of the exact locations of these boundaries. Data collected, and boundary photos taken, we headed back.
On our return, we managed to scoop up several clusters of mylar birthday balloons drifting out to sea. This isn’t the first time our return voyage has become an impromtu sea cleanup. Does every birthday need balloons? Click here to read this Santa Monica Daily Press column on the effects of balloons on marine life.