See a whale shark in the Gulf? Call Mote immediately!

Mote Marine Laboratory received a report of five whale sharks — Earth’s largest fish species — about 40 miles off Anna Maria Island last weekend, and Mote scientists are asking members of the public to report new sightings off Florida’s Gulf Coast immediately.

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Children 3-5 can discover ocean science with Mote and The Out-of-Door Academy

Children ages 3-5 and their families are invited to three exciting, marine science outreach programs led by Mote Marine Laboratory and The Out-of-Door Academy (ODA) in Sarasota County. Through these free educational programs from 10-11 a.m. on Nov. 4, 2017, Feb. 3 and April 14, 2018, participants will learn about marine animals’ survival strategies, about keeping the environment clean, and about how the ocean connects people everywhere.

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Sand sculpting champs declared during seventh Crystal Classic

International sand sculpting champions were declared today during the seventh annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival, which is drawing thousands to Siesta Public Beach and raising awareness for endangered sea turtles. (See the completed sculptures Monday and Tuesday. Details at: www.siestakeycrystalclassic.com)

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Catch and release with care: shark-friendly fishing practices

As you enjoy recreational fishing this summer, please remember to handle and release protected fish species with care to help them recover and survive.  Four adult great hammerhead sharks – a protected species in Florida – washed ashore dead in late June to early July in Sarasota County, and members of the public notified Mote Marine Lab and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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