Lionfish – Beautiful – Destructive – Now Resorting to Cannibalism

Efforts to tame Florida’s invasive lionfish haven’t worked. Now these venomous fish are eating each other. Though it probably won’t reduce their numbers substantially. Watch divers and researchers fight the invasive lionfish in Florida’s coastal waters. By Katie Pyzyk, National Geographic PUBLISHED JULY 23, 2015 CONCH KEY, Florida—Fisherman Gary Nichols, who has been finding lionfish … Read more

Mote Scientists Grow Coral Faster in the Florida Keys

Mote scientists at the Key West laboratory have discovered a faster way to grow coral. By Randi Nissenbaum, Reporter Coral is a vital part of the oceans eco system. Without it most marine life could not survive. That’s why Mote Marine scientists have been working hard to preserve the fragile marine life.Just a few years ago, … Read more

Regional Effort Aims for Rare Butterfly’s Resurgence

BY BRIAN BOWDEN Free Press Staff  The Upper Keys is playing a role in an effort by the National Park Service to bolster the population of the federally protected Schaus swallowtail butterfly on Biscayne National Park’s Elliott Key. The 4-year-old restoration project has three simple goals: remove invasive species from the island, plant natives such … Read more

Audubon: Roseate Spoonbill Nests Moving Inland

BY JOSH GORE Free Press Staff The roseate spoonbill, a wading bird long enjoyed by birdwatchers, recreational boaters and anglers, appears to be gradually leaving Florida Bay for less salty nesting grounds, according to Audubon researchers. The spoonbill nests during the dry winter and spring months. And because it is especially dependent upon the … Read more

30 Years of Reef Research in the Florida Keys Continues

  Project Baseline scuba and manned submersible diving teams will conduct operations from the 146’ long mobile diving platform, the Baseline Explorer, to advance 30 years of ongoing research by systematically documenting the health of reefs in the Florida Keys, FL. The teams will dive coral reefs between Key Largo and Looe Key to document … Read more

Mote Marine Researcher Gets Grant to Study Corals

Mote Marine staff scientist Erinn Miller has received a prestigious National Science Foundation grant of $578,681 for five years of research and education focused on threatened corals. The Faculty Early Career Development Program offers awards to support exemplary teacher-scholars through the integration of education and research. The grant will allow Muller — who earned her … Read more

Florida Keys Students on the Water With Sharks

By Michael Quirk Key West Citizen Students encountering sharks has been a tagline for cheesy horror flicks over the years. It became a reality recently when Newfound Harbor Marine Institute at Seacamp and Sharks4Kids Inc. hosted six female students from Sugarloaf Middle School for its “Young Women in Marine Science” program. The two-day experience held at … Read more

Coral Safe Sunscreens

As you can see by the picture, there are many causes to Coral Bleaching. One of the problems that is adding to the problem is Sunscreens worn by swimmers and divers on and around reefs. This article explains some of the reasons and results of these Sunscreen ingredients as well as alternatives that are Coral … Read more

The Best Florida Keys Lionfish Killers

By Kevin Wadlow Dropping 80 to 100 feet under the ocean surface to start her day’s work, Rachel Lynn Bowman often zeroes in on several invasive lionfish. “It’s a double-edged sword when we see a lot of them,” Bowman said Friday. “I know it’s going to be a good payday. Then I think: What … Read more

Healthy Coral Reefs Require Parrot Fish

By Don Rhodes While drifting along on a shallow ledge on Conch Reef, I spot a group of colorful parrot fish chomping away at algae and other growth on the coral. A bit farther I see a massive plume of white debris blast from the tail end of a large parrot fish. “What goes … Read more

Workshops Teach Divers to Hunt Invasive Lionfish

Here’s something you don’t see every day: divers and marine conservationists hunting one of the world’s most beautiful fishes. As unlikely as this may seem, this scene is becoming more prevalent since the introduction of exotic lionfish in the Gulf States. Lionfish are an invasive species from the Indo Pacific that were introduced into Atlantic … Read more

Mote Marine Lab Expands on Summerland Key

Mote Marine Laboratory leaders announced exciting new plans for the expansion of its research facilities on Summerland Key during a special celebration of the organization’s 60th Anniversary on Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Galleon Resort & Marina in Key West. The expansion is a key priority of Mote’s newly announced comprehensive campaign: Oceans of Opportunity: … Read more