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September 11, 2009

turtle-sharkbiteSarasota-tagged Sea Turtle Being Treated in the Keys for Shark Bites
A loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) tagged with a satellite transmitter earlier this year after nesting on Casey Key was recently rescued in the Dry Tortugas after being bitten on her front flippers by a shark.

The 200-pound adult female, nicknamed Wham, was tagged in May and nested six times before heading south to the Florida Keys, according to transmissions from her satellite tag. After being rescued, Wham was taken to The Turtle Hospital in Marathon for treatment.

Wham, shown in the picture below, had her front right flipper amputated. The satellite tag is in the center of her shell. The red paint covering the epoxy attaching the tag to her shell is designed to keep barnacles and algae from growing on it.

Photo courtesy of The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, where Wham is being treated for shark bites.

Dr. Tony Tucker, manager of Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program, said it was clear from the satellite tag’s transmissions that something was amiss.

Click here for more information

Columbia Community Harvest

Let your taste buds do the giving while you support local non-profit groups - including Mote - as you have lunch or dinner at any Columbia Restaurant in September during the 12th Annual Columbia Restaurant Community Harvest program.

Through this program, Columbia Restaurant donates 5 percent of all guests’ lunch and dinner checks to the charitable organizations chosen by customers during the entire month of September.

The Community Harvest will be in effect at the Columbia Restaurants in Tampa’s Ybor City, Sarasota, St. Augustine, The Pier in St. Petersburg, Sand Key on Clearwater Beach, Central Florida’s Town of Celebration, and at the new Columbia Café in the Tampa Bay History Center in Downtown Tampa. All Columbia Restaurants are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

Over the past 11 years, the Columbia Restaurant Community Harvest has donated more than $923,000 to 100-plus non-profit organizations throughout Florida.

Meet the Mote Family: Volunteer Tom Story

meet-moteWhen Tom Story, 82, isn’t ice skating or clog dancing, one of his favorite pastimes is tending sharks and sea turtles as a volunteer at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. Story, from Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island, is beginning his 12th year of volunteering at Mote this month. Each Wednesday morning, he feeds sharks housed at Mote for research and takes care of adult and hatchling sea turtles in the Hatchling Hospital. He gives his favorite turtle, Edgar, shell rubs with a brush and tosses her tasty pieces of herring and squid. Story keeps a photo he snapped of Edgar as a palm-sized hatchling in 1992, before he joined Mote as a volunteer. Now, a full-grown Edgar and the other animals provide plenty to do.

“Working with the animals at Mote keeps me active. You’ve got to keep your legs going,” Story said. “But for lots of the volunteers - especially people working with the Aquarium guests - it’s also a good way to meet people and talk.”

Inspired by Story’s tale? Join Mote for a free Volunteer Recruitment Coffee from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 15, 2009. We’ll provide refreshments, an Aquarium tour, and plenty of chances to talk to current volunteers. Meet in the Buchanan Board Room at Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota. RSVP to Lisa Kinsella, Volunteer Coordinator, at 941-388-4441, ext 438, or To learn more about volunteering at Mote, visit

Snook-y Events Coming in October


Hook Kids on Fishing at Mote and the William R. Mote Memorial Invitational Snook Shindig

Oct. 10: The Snook Shindig now includes a FREE “Hook Kids on Fishing with Mote” fishing clinic for kids. This event will kick off the annual Snook Shindig a week before our Snook Research Tournament. The clinic is being held from 9 a.m. to noon at Mote Aquaculture Research Park, 12300 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, on Saturday, Oct.10. Kids and parents should arrive no later than 8:45 a.m. The clinic is for kids ages 6-15 and their parents.

Oct. 16-17: The William R. Mote Memorial Invitational Snook Shindig is now in its 11th year. During this special tournament, anglers help researchers find out what effect fish restocking efforts are having on fish populations in the Sarasota area. The fish were raised by Mote’s Center for Aquaculture Research and Development and released into Sarasota Bay by our Center for Fisheries Enhancement. Snook caught during the tournament are checked to see if they were tagged by Mote researchers and are then released.

Click here for details

Click here to register

Calling all Ghouls … (and boys too!)

callingIf you only attend one Halloween party this year, it should be ours. Oceanic Evening is Mote’s annual black-tie gala and major fundraising event benefitting Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. This year, Oceanic Evening is taking a ghoulish turn with the theme “The Devil & the Deep Blue Sea!”

Join us to cavort among watery goblins and monsters of the deep — and keep a sharp eye out for “The Monster of the Mote Lagoon” and (what else?) the “Headless Seahorse Man.” Just about anything is possible on this night in the Haunted Aquarium. Go to for details.
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for Sharktoberfest events.


Each Saturday and Sunday in October, kids who wear their Halloween costumes to Mote Aquarium will receive free goody bags. And from noon to 2 p.m. each Saturday, be sure to keep an eye out for Mote mascot Gilly the Shark — you never know, he may be masquerading as a pirate or even a nurse shark (sorry, we just coudn’t resist)!

Then, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, come out to our newest Halloween offering: A Night of Fish, Fun & Fright. This safe trick-or-treat will feature tons of fun and even a “spooky” creature or two.
Click here for cost and details

News to Use…

Deep Sea Diner Discount Just for Mote Members

If you didn’t get the chance to use your Mote Membership to check out your favorite animals and our new exhibits and attractions at Mote Aquarium this summer, c’mon by in September and October.

Mote Members will receive a special 10 percent discount on their meals in the Deep Sea Diner. Just show your membership card as you pay.

Stonewood Grill Special Offer

Patrons who dine at any of the Stonewood Grill & Taverns in Sarasota and Manatee counties should hang onto their receipts after they pay the check. Why?

Mote is offering $2 off admission for up to 6 people to Stonewood Grill diners who bring their checks to the Aquarium admissions within 30 days of dining.

There are three locations in our area:

  • Bradenton, 7110 Cortez Road West, Bradenton, FL 34210; (941) 795-5781
  • North Sarasota, 5415 University Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34201; (941) 355-3315
  • South Sarasota, 1894 Stickney Point Road, Sarasota, FL 34201; (941) 927-3969

Thanks to Stonewood for sponsoring Mote Aquarium’s Night of Fish, Fun & Fright.

Discover Mote at a Discount

PrintNeed an excuse to visit the amazing animals at Mote Aquarium? You can visit for $2 off admission between August and October during Days of Discovery, a special promotion offered by Mote and other Sarasota-area attractions through the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau.

To take advantage of the Days of Discovery offer, go to the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau website and download the special Mote coupon.

You can also get a free night’s stay at many Sarasota hotels with three paid nights from July-October during the Sale-A-Sota promotion, sponsored by the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Click to download a Days of Discovery coupon.
Click to learn about Sale-A-Sota.

Save the Date: Shop for a Cause

Mote has been designated as a recipient of Macy’s Shop for a Cause day on Oct. 17.

Shop for a Cause shopping passes are $5 — all of which is donated to Mote. In return, those who make a $5 donation receive 10 to 25 percent discounts on the purchases they make on Oct. 17. Shopping Passes will be sold in Mote’s gift shops and in various locations around the community.

The funds Mote raises this year will be used to help support our hospitals that treat sea turtles, dolphins and whales.

For updates on sale locations, and more information, please go to

Don’t forget…

Rent one of Mote’s unique venues now for your upcoming event and receive a special discount. Click here for room details or call 941-388-2252.

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