Observe the manatees while they observe kayakers through crystal clear waters and a transparent kayak hybrid. In this one-minute promotional video for Florida-based See Through Canoe, curious manatees press their large noses to the clear watercraft, and can be seen swimming peacefully beneath it. The encounter looks calm and non-stressful for the large animals.
Florida boaters should follow these Manatee Protection Tips from SaveTheManatee.org to avoid collisions that can harm or kill these slow-moving, herbivorous marine mammals.
Tips include slowing significantly in manatee speed zones, avoiding seagrass beds and shallow areas where manatees might be feeding, cutting the boat motor when observing the animals, and resisting the urge to touch or feed them.
From a 2013 article by veterinary medicine professor Roger Reep at Sailor for the Sea:
Manatees in Florida deal with motorized boat traffic throughout much of their range. Florida has about 2000 miles of complex coastline involving the Intracoastal Waterway, numerous rivers, creeks, canals, bays, lagoons, inlets, lakes, and coastal islands. Manatees are found in each of these habitats because they feed on a wide variety of aquatic vegetation…
Several studies have found that only about 60% of boaters comply with posted slow speeds. Not surprisingly, the presence of law enforcement results in greater compliance. However, the number of marine patrol officers is very low compared to what would be needed to have a widespread effect on boater compliance. For now, low boater compliance and an increasing number of boats are two factors that contribute to sustained high numbers of manatees killed by boat strikes. Technological solutions have been proposed, including warning lights to notify boaters of manatees in an area, and sound beacons on boats to warn manatees of boaters in an area. However, in my opinion, if we are to solve the problem of manatees being hit by boats it will be through the technology of the human soul, whereby we learn to live more cooperatively with other species and the natural environment on whose health we all depend.
Watch these related videos next:
• Kayaking with Redondo Beach Blue Whales
• Alaskan Kayaking Adventure: New Lives in the Wild
• Up close and underwater as a humpback whale breaches
• Swimming with the Galápagos Sea Lions of Isla Plaza Sur
• Critter cams on a Giant River Turtle’s back and a manatee’s peduncle
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