Manatee Collision Paper

Words: 516
Pages: 3

This paper attempts to study the impacts of watercraft collisions on West Indian Manatee populations in Florida today. It references statistical data about West Indian Manatee fatalities to better understand the history of manatee fatalities from watercraft, as well research on the underlying sensory and acoustical causes of these collisions to determine why these collisions occur so frequently. This paper also analyzes the ecological implications of manatee extinction in Florida habitats today. This paper provides insight to the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, which has been the most significant piece of marine mammal conservation legislation enacted in the United States. This act is then further reviewed to determine its effectiveness in …show more content…
In 2016, 104 manatees were killed by propeller related injuries — the third deadliest year since record keeping began by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The research in this paper illustrates that while manatee populations are recovering, watercraft collisions have remained steady, and they will continue to do so until this specific cause of death is controlled more rigidly. Legislation such as the Marine Mammal Protection Act, while successful overall, has not addressed this specific issue, and other federal laws, such as the required lowering of watercraft speed in manatee habitats, too has been unsuccessful and potentially even more detrimental to the species overall. Enough specific and effective legislation has not been implemented to safeguard manatees from this threat. There still remains more research that most be done to further understand the hearing capabilities of manatees so that legislation can properly prevent the underlying sensory and acoustical causes of collisions. Manatees are extremely well-adapted to discern biological sounds in their habitats, however, avoiding boats