Have a SHARK ENCOUNTER at Mote Aquarium

Be Chef to the Sharks During New Program at Mote 
Feed Mote’s sharks (and find out how they get their vitamins) during Shark Encounter — a new behind-the-scenes program atop the 135,000-gallon shark habitat in Mote Aquarium. And don’t worry — our sharks’ favorite food is fish!

Up to three guests can join Mote staff at 10 a.m. each Wednesday to prepare brunch for our sharks and large fish, including blacknose, nurse and sandbar sharks, southern stingrays, tarpon, snook, goliath grouper and more. Guests will learn about shark biology, care, feeding and research from elasmobranch specialist Michele Taylor.

“Many people are surprised to learn that each shark is different, that they can be very picky eaters and that Mote scientists have been studying sharks since the 1950s,” Taylor said. “We want to give our guests a whole new understanding of why sharks are cool.”

Participants in Shark Encounter will help Mote’s aquarists feed the sharks during a public narrated training session — a special program where sharks are trained to swim toward patterned targets to receive their food. A Mote aquarist narrates the feeding for Aquarium visitors, revealing why sharks are trained for their health and well-being and how Mote scientists were the first to show that sharks can learn — they’re much more than mindless eating machines. You might even find they have better table manners than some of your old college buddies.

  • Shark Encounters are $45 per person and are for ages 13 and older (guests younger than 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult). Advance registration is required and does not include the price of admission to Mote Aquarium.
Guests will have the opportunity to handle and chop seafood using a knife and protective gloves, then feed real sharks from the edge of a deep underwater habitat. Those with a history of dizziness or imbalance should not participate. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes and clothing that can get wet or dirty. Alert Mote staff to any allergies to seafood or latex.

And just remember: No swimming! 

About Us

Mote Marine Laboratory has been a leader in marine research since it was founded in 1955. Today, we incorporate public outreach as a key part of our mission. Mote is an independent nonprofit organization and has seven centers for marine research, the public Mote Aquarium and an Education Division specializing in public programs for all ages.