Explore Our History
This photo from the early 1900s shows the Pacific Fish Company, the first "major" canning operation on "Sardine Street" or Cannery Row. On July 7, 1916, Knut Hovden opened his cannery on the current site of the Aquarium.
Watch sardines go from the bay to the can in this video clip from the 1940s.
1914Early on, people with foresight recognize that the wealth of marine life in Monterey Bay should be made available for everyone's appreciation. In 1914, Frank Booth, the "Father of Cannery Row," proposes a $10,000 aquarium to the Monterey City Council. In 1925, Knut Hovden, builder of Hovden's Cannery, sponsors a bond issue to put an aquarium in the basement of the Pacific Grove Museum. In 1944, Dr. Lawrence R. Blinks of Hopkins Marine Station suggests an aquarium at Point Lobos State Reserve. None of these ideas ever come to fruition.
The Words of a VisionaryHovden wrote: "The reason for having an aquarium...is because of the immense abundance of marine life and fish that are to be found in the Monterey Bay. ...The availability of clean, clear salt water at all times in the year would enable this museum to exhibit the natural resources of the Bay in their original settings more exactly than in any other aquarium on the coast or anywhere else."
Hovden's words echo the policy statement David Packard issues in 1979: "The purpose of Monterey Bay Aquarium is to provide a facility to expand the public interest in and enjoyment of the marine life and the environment of Monterey Bay and the surrounding areas and shoreline."