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Mote Marine Aquarium


Marine life has all been wiped out in the waters surrounding Gasparilla Island. 

The inlet straddles Charlotte and Lee counties, but the residential part — including Boca Grande — falls entirely under Lee, which has hauled more than 2.8 million pounds of dead fish from its beaches and waterways in the first two weeks of August alone.

Conor Goulding/Mote Marine Laboratory

An increase in whale shark sightings off the coast of Sarasota is helping Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium scientists learn more about them.

Courtesy of Jacob Campoamor

In a rare sighting last weekend, boaters spotted multiple whale sharks off the coast of Anna Maria Island.

That has grabbed the attention of scientists at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota, who are now asking the public to report other sightings.

Joe Berg/Way Down Video - Courtesy Mote Marine Laboratory

Mote Marine Laboratory has announced it has raised more than $50 million in the Sarasota laboratory's first comprehensive fundraising campaign. President and CEO Michael Crosby said the money will be used for long-term sustainable projects to help preserve unique marine life.

Local scientists are studying the long-term effects of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s part of an international research project. It’s been six years since more than three-million barrels of oil poured into the gulf.

  Thawing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba is allowing researchers with Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota to expand their coral research and possibly improve the health of Florida’s coral reef tract. 

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

That fish gracing your dinner table now is either caught in the wild - or raised in offshore cages. But with demand growing, researchers are looking for new alternatives to raise food. We take a tour of an experimental farm run by Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota. There, fish - and vegetables grown using fish waste - are being raised far inland from the Gulf of Mexico. 

Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here's a troubling statistic: Of the 63,837 species worldwide that have undergone population assessments, 19,817 — or one out of three — are threatened with extinction.

That's according to Sarasota's Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. But the lab isn't taking these numbers lying down. 

This week, Mote announced that it will host a new coalition of aquariums, zoos and governmental and non-governmental organizations to address the needs of sea turtles, sea birds and other vulnerable marine life.

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium has received $400,000 in grants this week from two Sarasota-based family foundations.

The new funds include a major grant from the Sara S. Roberts Foundation for Mote’s efforts to rescue and treat sick and injured dolphins and whales, and an anonymous supporter for Mote’s shellfish restoration, marine-based cancer research and sustainable seafood farming.