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Areas of Research

Marine Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation

Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans

Saving our oceans begins with saving lives. We rescue, rehabilitate and release sea turtles and marine mammals who have been struck by boats, entangled in fishing line, poisoned by red tide and more. Our mission: Help each animal heal, return to the ocean and continue playing a vital role in its population. When animals are found deceased, we strive to learn what happened and apply our knowledge to improve conservation of the species.

We also help ocean animals by restoring their homes—especially vital coral reefs that have been decimated by disease, climate change, pollution and other threats.
Our work couldn’t matter more: The animals in our care are federally endangered, threatened or otherwise vulnerable, and most arrive in critical condition. Each life we save and each peer-reviewed marine science study we publish means new hope for the ocean’s most vulnerable.

If you find a stranded marine animal (dead or alive) within coastal Southwest Florida, please call Mote’s 24-hour hotline. We’re here to help, day or night.

By the Numbers

sea turtle hatchlings

received rehabilitative care at Mote in summer 2023

sea turtles

rehabilitated and released by Mote caregivers in the past year

manatees rescued

with help from Mote in the past year, in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

dolphin calves rescued

from life-threatening entanglements by the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP), Mote Marine Laboratory and partners. SDRP is a Chicago Zoological Society program in collaboration with Mote.

of sea turtles with clear boat-strike injuries do not survive.

Boat strikes are on the rise and sea turtles need help. In 2023 Mote established a voluntary Sea Turtle Protection Zone in Sarasota County to encourage boaters to slow down in key areas and protect these threatened turtles.

calls answered by Mote's 24-hour hotline for stranded marine animal response

340 calls about manatees, 284 about sea turtles, 74 about dolphins and whales, 162 others. To report sick or injured animals of these species in Sarasota and Manatee counties, Florida, call Mote at 888-345-2335.


Meet our marine animal patients