Mote wildlife responders thank state for red tide aid

New emergency funding from the State of Florida will help Mote Marine Laboratory’s wildlife responders with a herculean task: recovering and rescuing scores of marine animals suspected to be affected by Florida red tide.

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Red Tide: What Mote is doing now

Communities affected by the current Florida red tide are asking great questions — in particular, what more can be done to address this challenging harmful algal bloom (HAB) and better protect public health and quality of life? Mote Marine Laboratory — an independent research institution that has studied Florida red tide for decades in cooperation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and numerous other partners — is working hard to answer that question with multiple scientific studies advancing this summer. For months, several southwest Florida communities have been experiencing effects from elevated concentrations of the Florida red tide algae, Karenia brevis, which have persisted in the Gulf of Mexico since November 2017. Toxins from the bloom have caused large-scale fish kills, sickened or killed some large marine species and caused beachgoers to cough, sneeze and experience other respiratory or eye irritation, sometimes causing them to avoid the affected shoreline areas. These impacts drive Mote scientists to find solutions. Mote is advancing innovative research with the ultimate goals of: improved rapid assessment and modeling for HAB forecasting; prevention, control and mitigation of HAB impacts; public health protection; and expansion of local community outreach and engagement.

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Satellite tagged sea turtle released from Lido Beach

Mote Marine Laboratory scientists tagged an adult male loggerhead sea turtle nicknamed “Intrepid” with a satellite transmitter and released him this morning, July 27 from Lido Beach, Sarasota County, as part of a conservation-focused research effort.

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New shark species named in honor of Mote founder

Fondly labeled the “Shark Lady,” Dr. Eugenie Clark founded Mote Marine Laboratory and continued studying fishes until she passed away in 2015 at age 92. She will now be recognized with another distinction: namesake of a newly discovered species of dogfish shark.

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Podcast: Coral reefs of the Middle East

Some coral reefs in the Middle East are strikingly beautiful and seemingly well-preserved, but will they stay that way as humans alter the environment? Dr. Emily Hall traveled to Israel to study stress on corals, including eutrophication – a big word you can say at parties to sound smart. But seriously, eutrophication (excess nutrients in bodies of water) could be challenging to corals already stressed by global climate change. Joe and Hayley ask Dr. Hall what she has learned about this challenge and what it's like to work in the Middle East, including diving for another project in the gorgeous Gulf of Aqaba. Dr. Hall also shares updates on her U.S.-based work as manager of Mote’s Ocean Acidification (OA) Program, including rebuilding her Florida-based OA research system to make it bigger and better after Hurricane Irma.

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Sea turtle nest damaged by suspected poachers on Nokomis Beach

A sea turtle nest was damaged July 5 on Nokomis Beach by suspected poachers; three individuals dug into a nest marked with stakes and left one broken egg on its surface. It is not clear whether they took any eggs. Mote Marine Laboratory reported the incident to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which investigates wildlife law violations.

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