You can be chef to the sharks and find out how they get their vitamins during our Shark Encounter, a behind-the-scenes program atop the 135,000-gallon shark habitat in Mote Aquarium. And don’t worry — our sharks’ favorite food is fish!

Up to three guests may join Mote staff to prepare brunch for our sharks and large fish, including blacknose, nurse and sandbar sharks, southern stingrays, tarpon, snook, goliath grouper and more. Guests will learn about shark biology, care, feeding and research from elasmobranch specialists.

Participants in Shark Encounter will help Mote’s aquarium biologists feed the sharks during our public narrated training session — a special program where sharks are trained to swim toward patterned targets to receive their food.

Tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance. We recommend at least 3-4 weeks advanced planning as we do tend to fill to capacity early on. Email or call 941-388-4441 ext. 373 should you have any questions about this program.

Important Note: Guests will have the opportunity to handle and chop seafood using a knife and protective gloves, then feed real sharks from the edge of a deep underwater habitat. Those with a history of dizziness or imbalance should not participate. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes and clothing that can get wet or dirty. Alert Mote staff to any allergies to seafood or latex.

And just remember: No swimming!