Did you know that the name ‘Pacific’ comes from the Latin word ‘pacificus’ which translates to peaceful. The Pacific Ocean originally discovered in September 1513 by Vasco Núñez de Balboa while he was searching for gold. It later got its name from the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magelllan back in 1521. He first called this waters “mar pacifico” which translate to peaceful sea. Ranking as the largest ocean, covering about 30% of the Earth’s surface, the Pacific can be anything but peaceful! Most of the world’s volcanoes, about 75%, are actually located in the Pacific Ocean creating what we know as the ‘ring of fire’. Many earthquakes occur in this area due to the high volcanic activity thus making the Pacific anything but peaceful!
The Pacific Ocean is actually divided in the North Pacific and the South by the world’s equator. Here on Catalina Island we are located in the North Pacific were the temperature of the water is much cooler. These cooler waters allow for a high diversity of marine invertebrates and expansive kelp forests. These kelp forests are home hundreds of different species of fish, primarily pertaining to the rockfish family. We do however see some of the tropical damselfish such as the Garibaldi and the Blacksmith. Blacksmiths (Chromis punctipinnis) are often seen traveling in schools and feeding off of plankton such as copepods and are know for the vibrant blue coloration.