Mote Marine Laboratory is working with partners to investigate the deceased dolphins, two of which were reported on Siesta Beach.
Over a span of less than 48 hours, Mote Marine Laboratory has recovered nine dead dolphins in Sarasota County and begun research into the cause of the deaths.
Mote announced today a timeline of the reported incidents. It began Tuesday evening, when the organization’s Stranding Investigations Program recovered two dolphins on a Venice beach.
Other recoveries occurred:
- Wednesday morning, when one dolphin was recovered from the Intracoastal Waterway near Snake Island in Venice and another was recovered from Venice's Caspersen Beach.
- Wednesday afternoon, when one dolphin was recovered from North Casey Key Road in Nokomis and another was reported floating off mid-Casey Key.
- Wednesday night into Thursday morning, when one dolphin was recovered from Siesta Key.
- Thursday morning, when one dolphin was recovered from Siesta Key and another from Casey Key.
The dolphins have been transported or are in the process of being transported to Mote’s City Island facility for necropsies. In a release, Mote said all nine dolphins were moderately to severely decomposed, complicating the research efforts.
Mote’s release did not mention whether the deaths may be linked to red tide blooms that have recently caused several tons of dead fish to wash up on Sarasota beaches.
Mote noted the dolphins were recovered in partnership with other organizations, including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, West Coast Inland Navigation District and the Venice Police Department's Marine Unit. Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program and the University of Florida are aiding in the response and necropsy effort.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.