Podcast: No brain? No spine? No problem for sea jellies!

Mote Aquarium’s “jelly dude” – Aquarium Biologist Andrew Angelo – describes which sea jellies (aka jellyfish) live around southwest Florida, and he tells Joe and Hayley what it’s like to raise and breed jellies for Mote’s educational exhibits. If you’ve ever been curious about what jellies eat, who can eat them, how their alien-looking anatomy works, and how they sting, then tune in for a fascinating interview and learn some cool facts from jelly science. Spoiler alert: Peeing on a jellyfish sting is not advised!

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Mote Asks Local Anglers to Help Gather Vital Snook Data

Snook are one of the most sought-after catches in Florida’s saltwater recreational fishing industry, which draws more than $6 billion to the economy annually. However, increased fishing pressure, habitat loss and natural challenges such as freezes and red tide have contributed to a decline in snook populations.

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New study shows banning shark fins in U.S. won’t help save sharks

A new study in the scientific journal Marine Policy shows that banning the sale of shark fins in the United States can actually harm ongoing shark conservation efforts. Study authors Dr. David Shiffman of Simon Fraser University’s Earth2Ocean research group and Dr. Robert Hueter from the Center for Shark Research at Mote Marine Laboratory say that the proposed Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act of 2017, a bill currently in committee in U.S. Congress, is a misguided and ineffective approach to protecting sharks.

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Independent scientists applaud progress toward increased federal funding to address red tide

Today, Sept. 14, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan’s office issued a news release about the exciting progress of their proposed amendment to boost federal government funds for research and mitigation of the Gulf of Mexico’s harmful algal blooms known as red tides. Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President & CEO of the independent Mote Marine Laboratory, praised this progress toward addressing red tides.

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Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium to Close Due to Hurricane Irma

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium staff are finalizing steps to secure the animals and facilities for Hurricane Irma and will be closed effective 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. and is expected to reopen on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 and resume normal operations if conditions allow. Visitors may check mote.org or call 941-388-4441 to confirm Mote Aquarium hours of operation. Mote will continue to follow the advice of the local emergency management teams and urge residents to do the same.

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Podcast: Take a breath, thank the phytoplankton

Phytoplankton - sometimes called microscopic algae - can seem a bit like Jekyll and Hyde. Some produce much of the air we breathe and nourish the ocean's food chain, while others form harmful algal blooms that range from annoying to hazardous for people and animals. The fact is, phytoplankton are really diverse, with lots of scientific groupings having a wide variety of traits ranging from helpful to harmful. Mote Staff Scientist Dr. Vince Lovko tells Hayley and Joe about the phytoplankton in our "backyard," the Gulf of Mexico, including the kinds you might wade through at the beach and never notice, along with one kind that draws Floridians' attention: the harmful algal bloom Florida red tide. The really fun part: Dr. Lovko is planning to test flying drones to monitor algal blooms from the air. Check out the red tide monitoring app mentioned in the show by searching "CSIC Mote" in the App Store or Google Play. CSIC stands for Citizen Science Information Collaboration.  

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