The dark patch in the emerald water is a large mass of northern anchovies which has created an oceanic hot spot full of feeding sea birds, dolphins and a humpback whale
hot spot Engraulis mordax dark mass 2015 06-05 SB Channel-a-004
An assemblage of sea birds have congregated on a subsurface school of northern anchovies. Birds attack from above, and dolphins attack from below. This is a small "hot spot" or feeding area which illustrates the patchy distribution of food in the ocean. Today we searched many of these hot spots hoping to find a baleen whale.
A Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), a variety of feeding birds, mostly Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), and a California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) attack a ball of bait. Platform Gina and East Anacapa Island are in the background.