Mote scientists tag two whale sharks off southwest Florida

Thanks to whale shark sightings reported by the public off the southwest Florida coast in early June, scientists from Mote Marine Laboratory located five of the polka-dotted, filter-feeding giants and tagged two of them with tracking devices on the afternoon of June 14.

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July 6-8: Hunt and taste invasive fish at Sarasota Lionfish Derby

Join Mote Marine Laboratory for the fifth annual Sarasota Lionfish Derby, an environmentally friendly event that invites scuba divers to harvest this invasive species, and allows the public to taste delicious lionfish dishes prepared by top local chefs. The derby will take place from July 6-8 based at Mote, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota.

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Summer gets clammy: Shellfish restoration study under way

Conservationists are ramping up clam-restoration efforts now in Sarasota Bay, Florida — locally the first of their kind — in partnership with Mote Marine Laboratory scientists who study how to fine-tune shellfish restoration methods to benefit the Bay.

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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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Coral disease ‘firebreak’ works in short term. Next goal: Making it last

The progression of Caribbean yellow-band disease — a widespread killer of reef-building corals — can be significantly impeded by chiseling a “firebreak” around the diseased coral tissue, but more research is needed to maintain the firebreak long-term, reports a peer-reviewed research paper published this week in the journal PeerJ.

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Stormwater system can support snook, bass and more, says Sarasota study

Dozens of fish species — including common snook and largemouth bass — use certain parts of the upper Phillippi Creek system, according to the first fish survey of this urbanized network of canals, retention ponds and wetlands in Sarasota County, Florida. The survey — led by Mote Marine Laboratory and funded by Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) — found the highest numbers and diversity of fishes around upper creek areas mimicking natural habitat: curving canals or ponds with wetland vegetation and sections of slower-moving water. Less naturalistic canals, with shorelines straightened for optimum drainage, generally hosted fewer fish of fewer species.

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