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Areas of Research

Conservation, Restoration & Monitoring

Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans

Sharks, sea turtles, manatees, corals and other iconic species enrich our lives—and Mote is dedicated to saving theirs. With decades of wildlife research and new studies unfolding every day, Mote helps natural resource managers sustain these species for generations to come.

Mote has been studying nesting sea turtles on Longboat Key through Venice, Florida, since 1982. Our findings support conservation of these threatened and endangered reptiles.

Mote is leading international shark conservation efforts by expanding the world’s largest reef shark survey, Global FinPrint.

Mote scientists have documented Florida manatee populations for decades using photo-ID techniques and airplane-based surveys. Our findings help reveal population trends and support conservation.

By the Numbers

sea turtle nests documented in 2023

by Mote scientists and volunteers on beaches from Longboat Key through Venice, Florida, including 4,091 loggerhead and 193 green sea turtle nests—our highest number of green nests ever recorded and highest overall number of nests ever recorded on Venice.

unique sea turtles tagged by Mote scientists in 2023

on turtle nesting beaches on Siesta Key, Casey Key, and Venice.

years of documenting some individual manatees

Mote scientists have documented some individual manatees for decades in Florida waters using photo identification.

% decline of 5 main reef-shark species revealed

in a 2023 study by Global FinPrint, a worldwide initiative turning shark science into conservation at Mote. Overfishing is the main threat, reported project partners in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Science.

ray species being studied by Mote scientists

to aid conservation. For example, Mote monitors trends of longnose stingrays and endangered Atlantic chupares with fishers in Belize.

years of aerial (airplane) surveys for manatees

conducted by Mote Marine Laboratory scientists


Local Sea Turtle Nest Counts

The dorsal fin of a white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) offshore of southwest Florida

Centers of Excellence

Each Center of Excellence brings together Mote scientists, often with external partners, to focus on pressing topics in marine science, conservation and education.