Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent, not-for-profit marine research organization based on City Island in Sarasota, Florida. Founded in 1955 by Eugenie Clark in Placida, Florida, it was known as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory until 1967. The laboratory aims to advance the science of the sea, both through its marine and estuarine research labs and through the public Mote Aquarium and its affiliated educational programs.
Mote Aquarium is the public outreach arm of Mote Marine Laboratory, displaying more than 100 marine species with a focus on local marine life. The Aquarium opened in 1980 on City Island in Sarasota Bay. Visitors can see sharks, manatees, sea turtles, seahorses, rays, skates, seahorses, and invertebrates including cuttlefish, jellyfish, and sea anemones. Mote Aquarium also includes windows into Mote's working laboratories. The Aquarium hosts birthdays, weddings, corporate gatherings, and other events. Special group tours can be provided and are designed to show visitors how staff tend the animals and exhibits.
The Aquarium offers narrated shark feedings, in which large sharks are trained to go to specific targets for a food reward. Special, temporary exhibits have included "Oh Baby! Life Cycles of the Seas" (February 14-September 27, 2015), a showcase of marine courtship and reproduction featuring babies of multiple species and their early life survival challenges, involving interactive games and a baby shark touch tank.