Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
UPDATE: From the evening of Aug. 7 through today, Aug. 9, Mote's Stranding Investigations Program has recovered nine deceased bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota County, Florida. They recovered two dolphins the night of Aug. 7 on a Gulf of Mexico beach in Venice, Florida. The morning of Aug. 8, they received reports of two more deceased dolphins, and one was recovered from the Intracoastal Waterway near Snake Island in Venice and the other was recovered from Caspersen Beach. The afternoon of Aug. 8, a fifth dolphin was reported along North Casey Key Road in Nokomis, and a sixth was reported floating off mid-Casey Key, and both were transported to Mote. During the night of Aug. 8 into early morning of Aug. 9, Mote staff and volunteers worked to recover a seventh dolphin reported on Siesta Key. On the morning of Aug. 9, the eighth and ninth dolphin were reported on Siesta and Casey Key, respectively, and they are being transported to Mote today.
We have alerted our partners in the national-level Marine Mammal Stranding Network overseen by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of all response efforts. Mote staff are conducting or will conduct necropsies on all nine dolphins at Mote's main campus on City Island, Sarasota, to investigate cause of death. Colleagues from FWC and Clearwater Marine Aquarium are assisting with response and necropsies, lending equipment and trained personnel to assist Mote staff. The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (a Chicago Zoological Society Program in collaboration with Mote) has also been assisting with recoveries, necropsies, and identifications of the dolphins, and colleagues from the University of Florida are on their way to assist as well.
Beyond recoveries of deceased dolphins, Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program has recovered dead or rescued alive 145 sea turtles so far in 2018, and has assisted FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute with several manatee recoveries (FWC is the lead on manatee rescue and recovery). #motesip (📸: @flfisherman12)