Boaters need to watch out for manatees, FWC issues warning

Boaters need to watch out for manatees, FWC issues warning

On Wednesday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued a warning to boaters regarding the annual migration of Florida manatees to warmer waters.

Under this warning, the government agency has asked boaters to slow down for these aquatic mammals. Also, they have asked the boaters to be aware of these creatures as that often rest or congregate underwater and so it generally gets very difficult to see them.

Gary Morse, FWC spokesman said, "The challenge is to see and identify where manatees are and to take caution to avoid manatee strikes. They are a threatened species and protecting them is important to Floridians for a variety of reasons, including environmental and economical".

Skip McPadden, a dock master at the Bradenton Beach Marina informed that manatees hard to detect in open waters. This is so as most of the time, the only part of them that comes up is just their little nose to get air. They largely dip the whole of their body underwater and this is the reason that a lot of times one is not able to see them until the boat one is in passes over them.

He added that at this time of the year the manatees come into the marina, 402 Church Ave. N., Bradenton Beach and so all the boaters stay more aware about them. Also, this year up till now there has been no case as yet of any boater accidentally injuring manatees.

Scott Calleson, a FWC biologist, has a different story to tell. He stated that there have been close to 60 manatee-striking accidents in Florida since January as the result of boat collisions. He added that boat collision is a fairly common source of injury and death in case of manatees.

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