Monthly Archives: January 2014

Discover Florida’s Marvelous Manatees Today!

Manatees are the lovable giants of Florida coastal waters.  They are gentle and slow-moviPicture 075 - Copyng animals. Most of their time is spent eating, resting, and traveling. During the winter months, manatees head for warm waters, such as springs and power plant discharges. So, this is the prime time of year for manatee viewing (see below). For the remainder of the year, manatees are widely dispersed.

How can I help keep Manatees safe?

West Indian manatees in the United States are protected under federal law by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, and the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as well as the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978. It is illegal to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal. You can follow these tips to help keep manatees safe.

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Scientists respond to Pilot Whale Deaths in southwest Florida

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Image credit: NOAA

The stranding and deaths of dozens of short-finned pilot whales off Kice Island in Collier County has made multiple headlines recently. Scientists from NOAA fisheries in coordination with Mote Marine Laboratory, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Rookery Bay Reserve, Marine Animal Rescue Society, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Collier County Sheriff Office have coordinated to respond to these stranding.

In an attempt to learn how the whales died, scientists conducted what is known as a necropsy, which is an autopsy for animals, on several of the whales. Besides investigating potential causes of death, necropsies provide important insight into the whales’ life history such as their age, size, weight, sex, and whether they are sexually mature. Often this kind of information is difficult to determine when the animal is alive. Scientists can compare this information to other stranding records they have for short-finned pilot whales to learn more about the species and what might be contributing to these events.

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Cortez Fishing Festival, February 15-16, 2014

Festival Mission Endorsed by Famed Ocean Explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau2014 Art work

Here is your chance to enjoy a family fun-filled day along the Sarasota Bay shoreline in the historic fishing village of Cortez. Come see a piece of what old-time Florida looks like and learn more about the Florida’s commercial fishing heritage.

Music, nautical arts, a marine life touch tank, delicious seafood and much, much more.

All festival proceeds go to expanding and restoring the FISH Preserve — 95 acres of environmentally sensitive lands along the Sarasota Bay shoreline.

Admission: $3.00, kids under 12 free. Free remote parking with shuttle service ($2.50, round trip).

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