World Oceans Day: 8 Tales of Marine Life in Tampa Bay


(WFLA) – June 8 is recognized as World Oceans Day and we’re bringing back some remarkable stories we’ve covered about Tampa Bay’s marine life over the past year, while acknowledging the dangers a much of the wildlife and what we can do to help.

The ocean covers 70 percent of the planet and produces a large part of its oxygen.

According to the United Nations, World Oceans Day “reminds everyone of the major role the oceans play in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet and a major source of food and medicine and an essential part of the biosphere. “

There are many things that can be done to help protect our waters and those who live in them, including things like ditching plastic items and using reef-safe sunscreen.

It’s also easy to help pick up little in our waters, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has tips on how you can help our oceans.

1. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful Hosts Cleanup Weekend in Honor of World Oceans Day

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful is having a cleanup event this weekend and residents are encouraged to volunteer to pick up litter from the Hillsborough River.

“Volunteers can bring their boats like kayaks, canoes or paddleboards,” according to Brianda Villegas of 8 On Your Side.

2. Penguin Awareness Day: Florida Aquarium & its “backstage pass” for families

It’s often easy to overlook the marine animals that don’t inhabit the Tampa Bay area, but the Florida Aquarium offers an experience, for an additional fee, for families to interact with and even pet an African penguin! Admission to the aquarium includes a conversation with a biologist who will tell you all about the animal and answer all of your questions.

The aquarium is home to 10 penguins, but does not have complete public habitat for them. Throughout the day, biologists will bring them for these talks.

3. Clearwater Marine Aquarium to Release Documentary on Stranded Pilot Whales in 2019

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium announced in April that it would release a new documentary this summer. The documentary covers the rescue, rehabilitation, release and follow-up of the five pilot whales that stranded on Redington Beach in 2019.

The documentary includes original footage of the beach and the series of events that followed.

4. Witnesses watch manatee give birth on Earth Day in Westshore District

Witnesses witnessed a miracle on Earth Day this year as a West Indian manatee gave birth right in front of them.

8 On Your Side received two videos of the mother and the calf and was able to speak with the man who shot the video.

“… We saw the little baby manatee crossing the water in a circle like this.” It was so much fun, ”said Jeff Wysocki.

5. Strangely Pigmented Dolphin Spotted In Gulf, Clearwater Marine Aquarium Does Not Call It Albino

A dolphin caused a stir on social media in April after it was recorded swimming… but it looked a little different than most dolphins we see here in the Tampa Bay area.

CMA investigators and biologists did not call the one-year-old dolphin, now known as “Cherub,” “albino,” because the youngster did not have red eyes, a common sign of albinism. .

6. Florida aquarium spawns grooved brain coral in lab for 2nd year

For the second year in a row, the Florida Aquarium has successfully spawned grooved brain corals in a controlled laboratory environment.

The aquarium’s induced spawning lab uses computers and LED lighting to create the appropriate temperature, simulated sunset, sunrise and moon signals, to mimic the environmental conditions of coral in nature to induce spawning.

7. The widely traveled manatee ‘Chessie’ is back in the wild, followed by Clearwater Marine Aquarium

The widely traveled manatee “Chessie” was released back into the wild in May and is being tracked by researchers at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute.

Chessie has been spotted as far north as Rhode Island, first seen in Chesapeake Bay in 1994, a very unusual location for a manatee. The male manatee is estimated to be around 35 years old and has a scar pattern that sets him apart from other manatees.

8. Are Tampa Bay Shark Populations Indicators of Tropical Climate?

Certain shark species and their locations could indicate whether tropical weather is about to strike in your area, according to new research that supports previous research conducted by the Mote Marine Laboratory.

Mote’s research from the summer of 2001 used a series of underwater receivers that tracked the positions of 41 juvenile blacktip sharks equipped with transmitters before Tropical Storm Gabrielle in a nursery area in Bay of Terra Ceia. Dr Bob Hueter, a retired shark researcher at Mote Marine Laboratory and current OSEARCH employee, was involved.

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