AP English 12
Save the Manatees
The Marine Mammal Protection Act was enacted in October 21, 1972. The act protects the taking of marine mammals, in response to some animals reaching endangerment or near extinction. This act does not cover the protection or safety of animals. The fishing or capture is illegal but holds no substantial punishment for its abuse. Currently, large fines may be placed upon infringement, with no possibility of sentencing. One center of life surrounding mammal life in shallow water is coral reefs or barriers. More than fifty percent of all coral reefs are at risk of human harm. Damage to reefs or barriers decimates ecosystems. New development in technology have developed safer propellers, causing minimal harm to marine life.
Thesis/ Topic Sentence
Although recent legislation has worked to more aptly protect marine life, stricter enforcement of regulatory laws, and safety requirements are required to fully protect and serve purpose to shallow water marine life.
-Stricter construction of laws and permits for shallow water
-Enacting stricter enforcement of regulations and laws
-Analyze new safer technology
-Creating larger base of public knowledge
-Enhanced protection of habitat
Informing Public A major issue facing the protection of marine life in shallow areas is the lack of knowledge of the public. Not understanding the natural geography and marine population can be detrimental to the protection of the habitat. Implementing public education and general awareness in dangerous water ways may lead to less accident related harm. Also introducing site-specific boat speed zones, along with posting regulatory speed signs forces public and commercial traffic to become aware of possible harm. Protection Plans The development of a comprehensive protection plans allows for whole protection across sites. Included in the plan, protection of boat facility, marine life sighting and identification information, high risk areas, law enforcement coordination, and a higher education in regard to public awareness. With more knowledge in the hands of individuals, less presence is required in selected areas, allowing for a larger base of freedom and safety. Although, enforcement of laws still remains a key aspect of reform, it can be moved from focus with a larger public understanding of what is needed to maintain safety. Legislation In coupling to knowledge, is the strictness with which the laws and regulations are defined and enforced. Current laws do not call for arrest, but large fines for harming of endangered species that come into harm(Marine). Reforming these current laws would stand to include a wider labeling of what is classified as harm to the natural wildlife. Pollution and damage of coral reefs are two major incidents that are not directly included to the protection of shallow water life. Although protected, including higher fines and possible imprisonment would work as a strong deterrent in possible minor offenses, where damage is avoidable. Cases of avoidable damage include pollution and the upgrading of equipment to modern safety standards. Safety Standards Development of modern safety standards has moved in large steps in recent years. The development of more innovative propellers has led to safer propellers. The props are designed to have more rounded blades, instead of sharpened edges which would cut and slice animals that came into contact. One example of this is manatees, which are slow moving animals being scarred by propellers of boats. Nearly 60 percent of all manatees tagged in Florida were found with scarring on their backs. Also, propeller guards have been developed to aid in the protection of coral reefs and barriers(Rattner). Despite the protection provided, guards are not wholly able to protect sea life(Chamberlain). The major source of damage comes are result of impact. In