Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s Stranding Team welcomes the summer with many exciting events! So far, we have responded to multiple live and deceased sea turtles (i.e. Green, Loggerhead, and Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles).
In regards to marine mammals, our team has been involved in the monitoring of several manatee-mating herds in Clearwater area. Great job to all our members who have participated in these stranding calls! In addition to stranding calls, a few of our members have also had the unique opportunity to participate in two different necropsy workshops led by experts in the field (photos attached). The first workshop took place at the FWCC Marine Mammal Pathobiology Laboratory in St. Petersburg, which covered sea turtle necropsies. Members were able to learn and assist with collecting documentation, photographs, and samples on over 80 sea turtle carcasses! The second workshop took place at the EPA National Health & Environmental Effects Research Laboratory in Gulf Breeze, Florida, which covered cetacean necropsies. After an 8-hour trek, our members were able to learn and even conduct their own necropsy! The best part of both workshops, was learning the importance of responding to deceased stranded animals and how it contributes to marine mammal research and conservation.
In other news, you may have noticed that the Stranding Hallway at the aquarium is a bit bare now. That is because all stranding equipment and supplies have been moved to the new Critical Care Facility! Although still in the process of outfitting this state of the art facility, we are already excited about its future contributions to CMA’s stranding efforts.
Thanks to all of our Stranding Team members for their passion, dedication, and hard work!