Behind the scenes at Monterey Bay Aquarium

OctopusThe character Doc in John Steinbeck’s novel Cannery Row is based on marine biologist Ed Ricketts, who had a small lab in Monterey.

This fact was one of the first things I learned when I took a behind the scenes tour at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, located on Cannery Row. The aquarium is housed in former Hovden Cannery, which was an active cannery until the early 1970s. Now, the entire neighbourhood of Cannery Row has been converted to a tourist destination, and the former canneries are shops and restaurants. And an aquarium.

There is a more direct connection between Ed Ricketts and the aquarium: The layout of the aquarium, grouping species in exhibits based on their natural ecosystem, was informed by Ricketts’ work Between Pacific Coasts.

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