Manatee Rules and Regulations
The following rules and regulations have been put in place to help protect the manatee and their natural environment. Failure to heed these regulations will result in you being fined or arrested by local, state, and/or federal authorities. It is entirely possible to have a fantastic manatee encounter within these regulations:
Manatees are protected under federal law by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which make it illegal to harass, hunt, capture or kill any marine mammal.
Manatees are also protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978. Anyone convicted of violating this state law faces a possible maximum fine of $500.00 and/or imprisonment for up to 60 days. Conviction on the federal level is punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and/or one year in prison. Feeding manatees, giving them water, or otherwise altering their natural behavior can be considered harassment.
It is a second degree misdemeanor to intentionally discard any monofilament fishing line or monofilament netting into or onto the waters of the state of Florida.
Following are some unwritten rules that will make your manatee encounter more enjoyable for everyone involved :
Call the Wildlife Alert Hotline 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or *FWC/#FWC, or use VHF Channel 16 on your marine radio if you see an injured, dead, tagged, or orphaned manatee, or if you see a manatee being harassed.
Manatee News Blog
January 9th, 2013
2012: A Good Year for Manatees?
November 16th, 2012
Florida manatees on the Move!
October 31st, 2012
Sirenews (Number 58 October 2012)
December 12th, 2011
Her name was Griselda...
December 18th, 2011More manatee news...
Chessie re-sighted in The Bay!