PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mote Raises and Tags 5000 Juvenile Snook in Response to Red Tide

Anyone who visited southwest Florida’s beaches during the summer of 2018 knows what a bad red tide event can do. Dead marine life clogged area beaches and canals, and beachgoers choked from respiratory irritation caused by the bloom of karenia brevis – it’s the marine dinoflagellate commonly found in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico that causes what we call red tide when it reaches high concentrations. In all, that event lasted nearly 18 months, stretching from Naples to Tampa. It killed millions of fish, including massive goliath grouper and snook. Record numbers of sea turtles were turning up dead, as well as manatees, dolphins, and even a whale shark.

One response to that event took the form of a project led by Mote Marine Laboratory, which teamed up with the Coastal Conservation Association of Florida, and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, to raise, and then release, five thousand juvenile snook into the wild, all tagged with tiny transponders to track their progress.

We’re going to learn about that process, and the role aquarium spawned fish can play in species restoration efforts, with Dr. Ryan Schloesser, he’s a staff scientist with Mote Marine Laboratory’s Fisheries Ecology & Enhancement Research Program.