– Facilities Update: Painting Completed!

Thank you so much to our volunteers Ann Harmon and John Love for their help painting our newly restored Florida lab! And very special thanks to Dave Goodman of Quality Painting for donating the primer. We couldn’t accomplish all we do without our incredible volunteers and supporters.

– Hubb’s Dolphin Surveyors Save Entangled Turtle

Our Florida team got more than they bargained for on this week’s dolphin survey in the Halifax River:  after spending the morning searching for dolphins, and picking up garbage along the way, they saw a sea turtle caught on a fisherman’s line. Fortunately, they were able to bring the turtle on board and call the proper authorities at Volusia County Environmental Management, who picked up the turtle.

The female loggerhead was transported to the nearby Marine Science Center sea turtle hospital where she’ll receive expert care and hopefully be returned back to the estuary soon.

– WFME: Placards Posted to Save Indian River Dolphins

All Posts This year, the Indian River Lagoon has seen a surge in the number of dolphins killed by fishing lines. Source: Hubbs Seaworld Research Institute

by Madeline Ninno (WMFE)          / August 18, 2017

Biologists are posting hundreds of signs on the seawalls of the Indian River Lagoon in an effort to save dolphins. The placards caution visitors not to feed the dolphins or discard fishing gear in the lagoon.

The placards, which have been used in other coastal areas, have proven effective.

“We’re using them on seawalls and fishing piers where the fishermen set up all their gear and they’re sitting there, waiting for a fish, and they’re looking down and the massage is right there,” said Cheryl Munday, Marine Mammal Outreach Specialist.

Seven dolphins have been killed by fishing lines and hooks so far this year, a surge from recent years. Fishing lines can entangle dolphins or cause them to choke on their food. Biologists believe the increase in deaths is caused my mother dolphins teaching their calves to take fish off fishing lines and approach humans for food.

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– Orlando Sentinel: Dolphin dangers on rise in Brevard County’s Indian River

By Kevin Spear / August 17, 2017

Biologists are gluing hundreds of placards to the tops of seawalls this week in Brevard and Volusia counties that caution anglers and boaters not to feed dolphins or discard fishing gear into their coastal environment. “An entanglement [with fishing line] can act as a knife that can cut their appendages, their flippers, dorsal fin, their jaw,” said Megan Stolen, research scientist with Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute. The message isn’t new but the technique is emerging, done first in Galveston, Texas, several years ago and more recently at Fort De Soto Park at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico….

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– WOFL Fox 35: 500 placards warn of dolphin endangerment across Indian River Lagoon

Posted: Aug 17 2017 08:59PM EDT

– From her fishing spot at Kelly Park, Katie Orcutt has seen dolphins tangled up in fishing line.

“It’s absolutely devastating that people’s negligence leads to the harming of something so amazing as a dolphin,” said the Merritt Island resident.

NOAA Fisheries says dolphins are very susceptible to injury or death from fishing line and marine rope. The most recent example was a young dolphin that had a crab pot line permanently snagged in its mouth. It was rescued the line removed, but others have not been so fortunate….

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– Florida Ecosystems

Have you seen us out and about in Florida? In the past few weeks we’ve been teaching Floridians about the local ecosystems and how they can help them at the Rockwell Collins Employee Fair, Brevard Zoo, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, The Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, and Sams House at Pine Island Conservation Area! Keep your eye on our page (or follow us on twitter @HSWRI) to see where we turn up next!  

– HSWRI Participates in Rockwell Collins Employee Fair

Nicola Bieber and Ron Zerwek of Rockwell Collins with HSWRI Florida’s research scientist Megan Stolen and Eileen Sigler participating in an employee fair today. Rockwell Collins’ Green Community’s grant program was the seed supporter of this new citizen science program, ‘Otter Spotter.’

Learn more at www.hswri.org/indian-river-lagoon-otters

– Disentangling a Dolphin Calf


This dolphin calf was sighted with a rope through his mouth and around his body. After successful disentanglement with help from HSWRI, the calf and mother swam off together.

– Up & Running Fundraiser Benefits HSWRI

Nothing better than a race on the beach with the Florida sun coming up to benefit our marine mammal stranding program!

Over 300 participants enjoyed post-race snacks and beer courtesy of Longdoggers Satellite Beach. Special thanks to Elizabeth Ring and Up & Running Fitness for putting on this fundraiser for us in its third year. Also many thanks to SeaWorld for donating treasured prize packages for SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica!


– IRL Survey Progress Report

In the last nine months our scientists and collaborators completed more than 100 surveys in the first comprehensive vessel survey of Indian River Lagoon (IRL) dolphins. To date we’ve processed 100,000 photos from the trips. The photos’ data will estimate the IRL dolphin population, which has suffered multiple Unusual Mortality Events recently.

We are extremely grateful to our supporters, the large group of volunteers, and our collaborators who’ve made this effort possible: FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station, Volusia County, Florida Environmental Management and St. Johns River Water Management District. Together we’ll continue to process this important data!