Mote Marine Laboratory
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Mote Marine Laboratory
Mote Marine Laboratory
Mote Marine Laboratory logo, January 2016.png
Official logo
Date opened 1955
Location Sarasota, Florida
Coordinates 27°19?58.5?N 82°34?37.7?W / 27.332917°N 82.577139°W / 27.332917; -82.577139Coordinates: 27°19?58.5?N 82°34?37.7?W / 27.332917°N 82.577139°W / 27.332917; -82.577139
Land area 10.5 acres (4.2 ha)
No. of animals 10,000
No. of species 100+
Memberships AZA

Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent, not-for-profit, marine research organization based on City Island in Sarasota, Florida, with additional campuses in eastern Sarasota County, Boca Grande, Florida, and the Florida Keys. Founded in 1955 by Dr. Eugenie Clark in Placida, Florida, it was known as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory until 1967. The Lab aims to advance marine science and education, supporting conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. The public Mote Aquarium and associated education program translate Mote research for the public.


Mote Marine Laboratory, founded by Dr. Eugenie Clark in 1955 in Placida, Florida, was known as Cape Haze Marine Laboratory until its 1967 renaming in honor of major benefactors of the laboratory William R. Mote, his wife Lenore, and his sister, Betty Mote Rose. Mote's early research was focused on sharks and other fishes. Since 1960, Mote has been based in Sarasota, Florida, and has been located on City Island since 1978.

Mote celebrated its 55th Anniversary during 2010. The Lab was recognized for its 55 years of marine science with a resolution in the Florida House and Senate in March 2010. Founder Clark was also recognized in March 2010 with an induction to the Florida Women's Hall of Fame.

The laboratory celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015 and unveiled its first multi-year, comprehensive fundraising effort, Oceans of Opportunity: the Campaign for Mote Marine Laboratory.[1] Clark was still working as Senior Scientist, Director Emerita, and Trustee at the laboratory when she died in February 2015.[2]

As of 2017, Mote employs more than 200 staff members, including Ph.D. scientists conducting research through more than 20 research programs (Coral Health & Disease; Chemical & Physical Ecology; Phytoplankton Ecology; Ocean Acidification; Marine & Fresh Water Aquaculture; Fisheries Habitat Ecology; Stranding Investigations; Ecotoxicology; Sharks & Rays Conservation Research; Fisheries Ecology & Enhancement; Coral Reef Monitoring & Assessment; Coral Reef Restoration; Environmental Health; Ocean Technology; Marine Immunology; Benthic Ecology; Marine Biomedical Research; Environmental Laboratory for Forensics; Sea Turtle Conservation & Research; Manatee Research; and the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program [3][4] a partnership of the Chicago Zoological Society [5] and Mote that conducts the world's longest-running study of a wild dolphin population.[6]

Since 1978, the Laboratory has expanded to include a 10.5-acre (4.2 ha) campus in Sarasota, the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration on Summerland Key; a public exhibit in Key West; a Boca Grande Outreach Office; and Mote Aquaculture Research Park in eastern Sarasota County. In addition to staff members, Mote has about 1,400 volunteers who contribute more than 200,000 volunteer hours to the organization.

Mote Aquarium

Coral on display.

Mote Aquarium is the public outreach arm of Mote Marine Laboratory, displaying more than 100 marine species with a focus on species and ecosystems studied by Mote scientists. Mote Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which accredits qualified facilities based on a rigorous application and inspection process focusing on animal care, conservation and science, facilities and more.

The Aquarium opened in 1980 on City Island in Sarasota Bay. Visitors can see sharks, manatees, sea turtles, seahorses, rays, skates and invertebrates including cuttlefish and/or octopuses, sea jellies, anemones and corals. Special exhibits such as "Otters & Their Waters" and "The Teeth Beneath: The Wild World of Gators, Crocs and Caimans," highlight animals found in the watershed (land that drains into the ocean and other waterbodies), including North American river otters, American alligators and spectacled caimans. The special exhibit "Oh Baby! Life Cycles of the Seas" showcases marine courtship and reproduction, featuring babies of multiple species and highlighting their early-life survival challenges through an interactive game, a baby shark touch tank and other features.[7] Though originally announced as a temporary exhibit, "Oh Baby!" has continued to operate at Mote (as of November 2017) due to a positive response from visitors. Mote Aquarium includes windows into Mote's working laboratories and interactive exhibits designed to make science accessible for all ages. The Aquarium hosts birthdays, weddings, corporate gatherings, and other events. Special group tours can be provided and are designed to show visitors how staff tend the animals and exhibits.[8]

The Aquarium offers narrated shark feedings, in which large sharks are trained to go to specific targets for a food reward. Other resident animals, such as sea turtles and river otters, are similarly fed and trained during narrated sessions designed to enhance their care and provide healthy stimulation. All narrated training/feeding sessions at Mote are designed specifically for the animals' care, and in some cases, to allow behavioral research intended to inform conservation of wild populations.

Until 2011, Harley, the last recorded spinner dolphin in captivity so far, lived at Mote Aquarium.


Mote's Education, Aquarium and Outreach Division includes marine science school and public programs for all ages. Mote offers internships, summer camps, school visits, field trips, on-demand learning experiences, an annual Special Lecture Series featuring Mote scientists and other marine experts, and a digital-learning program called SeaTrek.TV, which connects Mote educators to students and other audiences via live videoconferencing, often using common programs such as Skype and Zoom, making scientific lessons accessible to classrooms across the U.S. and abroad.[9]

Some of Mote's newest offerings include enhanced adult learning programs such as professional development workshops for teachers. [10]

Mote maintains multiple aquarium tanks at other southwest Florida facilities, including at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport between the information kiosk and the security checkpoint.


A library has existed at Mote since the laboratory's beginnings in Cape Haze.[11] The Arthur Vining Davis Library and Archives has been providing resources, reference materials, and research publications for more than 35 years at Mote Marine Laboratory. Its collections are maintained for the support of marine and environmental research and education. In addition to print and archival collections, the Library maintains searchable online, open-access institutional repositories of Mote staff publications, institutional papers, and items from historical collections.

The Library and Archives are open to the public for study and exploration. Appointments are suggested for library visitors and required for archival tours.[12]

Mote's library is a member of the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC), an association of individuals and organizations interested in library and information science, especially as these are applied to the recording, retrieval, and dissemination of knowledge and information in all aspects of aquatic and marine sciences and their allied disciplines.[13]

Caviar and other commercial demonstration programs

From 2006 to 2014, the laboratory produced "Mote caviar" (Siberian malossol osetra) from Siberian sturgeon at Mote Aquaculture Research Park in eastern Sarasota County as part of a demonstration of sustainable eco-sensitive aquaculture.[14] On November 24, 2014, Mote announced the sale of their caviar production operation to Southeast Venture Holdings, LLC (Seven Holdings).[15] Meanwhile, Mote continued to own the entire 200-acre Mote Aquaculture Research Park and continued its sustainable aquaculture and aquaponics research, emphasizing a range of goals from eco-friendly food production to restocking wild fish populations. In early 2017, Seven Holdings concluded its work with the Siberian sturgeon caviar for financial reasons, and the sturgeon program concluded. Meanwhile, Mote staff at the Park have continued research programs investigating marine aquaponics (growing fish and salt-tolerant "sea vegetables" in prototype greenhouses), examining the potential for aquaculture production of the Gulf of Mexico stock of almaco jack, examining the effects of probiotic supplements on survival of larval fish, and other projects designed to inform and contribute to the growth of sustainable, commercial aquaculture [16].



  1. ^ "Mote Celebrates 60th Anniversary, Announces $50-million Fundraising Campaign | News & Press". Retrieved . 
  2. ^ "Remembering Mote's "Shark Lady": The Life and Legacy of Dr. Eugenie Clark | News & Press". Retrieved . 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Mote Marine Laboratory 2020 Vision&Strategic Plan: Version 2.0
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Scientific Research". Retrieved . 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Immerse yourself in discovery". Retrieved . 
  9. ^ "If you want to change the world, dive deeper". Retrieved . 
  10. ^ "Mote to host professional development workshop for teachers | News & Press". Retrieved . 
  11. ^ Clark, Eugenie (2010). The Lady and the Sharks. The Peppertree Press. ISBN 9781936051526. We also had a small office and file room and a sizable library room. We were accumulating all the books we could find and fit in our budget pertaining to marine life on the Gulf coast of Florida. We started subscriptions to scientific journals and much of my paperwork time was devoted to writing people and organizations to get the Lab's name on the mailing list for scientific papers on marine life. [...] Bill Vanderbilt shared one of his secretaries, Marion Suss, with me. Marion was the Lab's secretary, bookkeeper, librarian, and in a pinch helped measure and photograph sharks, clean and dry fishbones. 
  12. ^ "Research Library". Retrieved . 
  13. ^ "IAMSLIC". Retrieved . 
  14. ^ October 2012 Florida Trend pages 14,16
  15. ^
  16. ^ Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium Community Relations & Communications staff provided direct edits to this section of the resource page on Jan. 2, 2018, describing the conclusion of the Seven Holdings sturgeon operation and specifying Mote's commercially relevant projects active during and after the discussed time period. Mote staff are paid by the institution to provide accurate and up-to-date public information.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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