After 55 years, Mote continues to be obsessed with sharks; after all, we have the nation’s only congressionally designated Center for Shark Research!
Florida has nurse sharks, bull sharks, blacktips and sandbar sharks — among others — and you can get closer than you’d like at Mote’s 135,000-gallon shark habitat. This exhibit is also home to the world’s largest grouper species, the goliath grouper (yes, he’s a cousin to Florida’s favorite seafood dish) and some of the world’s most sporting fish: tarpon, snook and redfish. That's nearly a grand slam, by local angling lore.
Narrated Training Sessions with Sharks
Visitors have long watched in awe on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as we feed the fish that live in our Shark Habitat. Now, we offer the opportunity for you to learn even more about these cool animals during our new Narrated Training Sessions. Watch and listen as you learn how and why we train the sharks that live at Mote.
The Training Sessions take place at 11 a.m. each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. These sessions (which are free with admission) are designed to give our visitors more information about how we care for some of the ocean's top predators and the training methods we use to make sure our sharks are healthy.
In order to take care of our sharks, Mote aquarists actually train the sharks to eat near special targets. Each species of shark is trained to feed at a different type of target. Dr. Eugenie Clark, Mote's founding director, was the first scientist to ever document that sharks were capable of learning such tasks. She began training sharks back in the 1950s and was able to demonstrate how adaptable sharks really are. Until Clark told the world about her efforts, sharks were thought of as mindless eating machines.
Today we know better and Mote's Center for Shark Research is working to understand the changes in shark populations and how species may be conserved.
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.