Mote Marine Laboratory

Warming temperatures and ocean acidification are significant threats to coral reefs, but a new study by Mote Marine Laboratory researchers last month provides something of a silver lining.   Researchers found that ocean acidification could actually help slow the progression of a disease that kills corals.

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. 

Juvenile sturgeon
Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The newest food gracing high-end retail stores comes from an area known more for cattle ranches and citrus groves than sturgeon. We go to an experimental farm far inland from the Gulf of Mexico, where a treat many of us have never tasted is being raised.

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. 

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

The next phase in a multi-year study to look at the effect oil has on fish will begin Wednesday at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.

WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with two scientists who are involved in the study, Dana Wetzel of Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota and Ben Prueitt of the C-IMAGE research consortium.

The study could have lasting impacts on our knowledge of how oil and dispersants used during the BP spill affects life in the Gulf of Mexico.

Eugenie Clark, Sarasota's 'Shark Lady,' Dies

Feb 25, 2015

At nationalgeographic.com, photographer David Doubilet described her as a larger-than-life character. “Her contributions were astounding,” Doubilet said. “She never outgrew this absolute fascination of looking and seeing and observing under water. Even when I was a younger man and she was older, I couldn’t keep up with her. She moved with a kind of liquid speed underwater.” Before Clark began her research on sharks in the 1950s, the animals were considered both dumb and deadly. "After some study," she said, "I began to realize that these 'gangsters of the deep' had gotten a bad rap."

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.

That stinging feeling that sometimes accompanies trips to the beach during outbreaks of red tide can be especially harmful to people with asthma. Now, researchers are trying to find out why some asthmatics are affected by red tide.

Anyone who ventures to the Gulf shore during red tide season knows the symptoms: irritated eyes and noses, a dry cough - even wheezing. For people with asthma, it's even worse.