The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 15 No. 16 - February 11, 2015

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Mote bequest honors Captain Scott Moore

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rusty chinnis | submitted

Captain Scott Moore: Fishing guide,
environmentalist, marine science
educator and champion of the marine environment.

Sarasota philanthropists Carol and Barney Barnett have long championed ocean and fisheries conservation. As long time supporters of Mote Marine Laboratory, they stepped up with a $3 million donation towards Mote’s overall, $50 million campaign celebrating its 60th anniversary in January. The Barnetts have challenged the community to raise $3 million more, matching their gift for Mote’s campaign.

Named “Oceans of Opportunity,” the fund-raiser began in January. The money will help Mote implement its Fisheries Conservation and Enhancement Initiative to protect and restore fisheries in Sarasota Bay. With their generous support, the Barnetts also honored Holmes Beach Captain Scott Moore for his long standing interest and involvement in fisheries conservation and science. Mote announced the naming of a new position, Captain Scott Moore Senior Fisheries Scientist.

I can think of no other angler or person in the community that deserves such an honor as Moore. I’ve known Moore since the early 1980s when we worked to establish the Manatee chapter of the Florida Conservation Association. It was Moore’s concern for the fisheries that galvanized a group of local anglers to form the Manatee Chapter, now the Coastal Conservation Association. Still a staunch supporter of the organization, Moore is a feature at yearly fund-raisers.

Moore has lobbied incessantly over the years for enhanced protection of local finfish, never missing an opportunity to inform his many high profile charter clients including businessmen, sports celebrities, politicians, scientists and community activists. If there was a development that might potentially negatively affect local fisheries, you could be sure that Moore would weigh in. Moore also has collaborated with scientists, always willing to share his collective knowledge learned through almost four decades on local waters.

The Barnetts said of Moore, “We honor the lifetime commitment and dedication Captain Moore has made as a skilled fishing captain, ocean steward, conservationist and marine science educator in our community. Captain Moore has demonstrated throughout his career the value and importance of a strong partnership between scientists and fisherman to provide guidance about how fisheries and marine conservation can come together to protect and restore marine biodiversity and marine ecosystems.”

Barnett grew up in Florida and joined the Publix supermarket organization, where he now serves as vice chairmen. He has lived close to the ocean most of his life and realizes that it is our most valuable asset. Carol is an avid scuba diver and angler and has first-hand knowledge of the ocean and the ways it is changing for the better and the worse.

According to Carol, “It really hit me when I learned what Mote was doing, that it was so much more than a little family activity. Mote is worldwide and making sure that we take care of the ocean environment. We have to be knowledgeable about what’s going wrong and what’s going right. This is serious business.”

Mote Marine Laboratory is a national treasure right in our back yard and deserves the support of everyone who appreciates the value of our bay and Gulf, both esthetically and economically. Some of the goals Mote seeks to attain by 2020 include expanding its annual budget from $21 million to more than $25 million, increasing Mote’s team of Ph.D. scientists from 35 to more than 45, increasing staff from 210 to more than 235, sustaining and nurturing the Lab’s dedicated group of 1,600 volunteers, increasing the number of Mote Members from 9,000 to 12,000 and increasing its annual economic impact in Florida from $86.8 million to $145.801 million.

To lend your support to the Oceans of Opportunity: the Campaign for Mote Marine Laboratory, send your donation to Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236.

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