Mote Marine Laboratory

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Mote Marine Laboratory
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)
Number of species 100+
Memberships AZA[1]

Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent not-for-profit marine research organization based on City Island in Sarasota, Florida. Founded in 1955 by Eugenie Clark in Placida, Florida, it was known as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory until 1967. The laboratory aims to advance the science of the sea, both through its marine and estuarine research labs and through the public Mote Aquarium and its affiliated educational programs.


Founded by Dr. Eugenie Clark in 1955 in Placida, Florida, it was known as Cape Haze Marine Laboratory until its 1967 renaming in honor of William R. Mote, his wife Lenore and his sister, Betty Mote Rose (major benefactors of the Laboratory). Mote's early research was focused on sharks. Since 1960, Mote has been based in Sarasota, Florida, and since 1978 it has been located on City Island.[2]

Mote Marine Laboratory 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.[3]

As of winter 2009/2010, Mote employs over 200 staff members conducting research on sharks, red tide and other environmental toxins, marine mammals, sea turtles, coral reefs, fisheries, coastal ecology and aquaculture (sustainable fish farming). Since 1978 the Laboratory has expanded to include a 10.5-acre (4.2 ha) campus in Sarasota, with field stations and public exhibits in Key West, field stations in Summerland Key and Charlotte Harbor and Mote Aquaculture Research Park in eastern Sarasota County. Florida's extensive coastline and marine and estuarine environments have enabled Mote scientists to build a platform of marine research conducted in the near shore environment. Mote has about 1,400 volunteers who contribute more than 200,000 volunteer hours to the organization.[2]

Mote Aquarium[edit]

Mote Aquarium is the public outreach arm of Mote Marine Laboratory, displaying more than 100 marine species with a focus on local marine life. The Aquarium opened in 1980 on City Island in Sarasota Bay. Visitors can see sharks, manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, seahorses, rays, skates and invertebrates. Mote Aquarium also includes windows into Mote's working laboratories. The Aquarium hosts birthdays, weddings, corporate gatherings and other events, and can provide special group tours designed to show visitors how staff tend the animals and exhibits.

New exhibits at Mote Aquarium created in 2009 include the Seahorse Conservation Laboratory, which displays baby seahorses that Mote staff are raising for other aquariums throughout the United States, and Sea Turtles: Ancient Survivors - an exhibit with live sea turtles and displays highlighting the sea turtle conservation and research at Mote. The Aquarium now also has narrated shark feedings, in which large sharks are trained to go to specific targets for a food reward.

The giant squid specimen preserved at Mote Aquarium originates from New Zealand and measures 27 feet (8.2 m) in total length. Nicknamed "Molly the Mollusk", it is one of only a handful of giant squid specimens on public display in the United States.


Mote has an education division specializing in school and public programs from all ages, including internships, summer camps, school visits, field trips, on-demand learning experiences for all ages, annual Special Lecture Series and a distance-learning program called SeaTrek, which connects Mote educators to students via live videoconferencing.

Mote also has a display tank located at the Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport between the information kiosk and the security checkpoint.


The laboratory produces "Mote caviar" (Siberian malossol osetra) from 50,000 to 70,000 sturgeon at its fish farm. The caviar is sold to resorts, local restaurants and hotel and is part of a demonstration of sustainable eco-sensitive aquaculture.[4]



  1. ^ "List of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Mote Marine Laboratory". Mote Marine Laboratory. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "55th Anniversary Events Calendar". Mote Marine Laboratory. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  4. ^ October 2012 Florida Trend pages 14,16

External links[edit]