TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Brevard County commissioner is raising eyebrows with his unorthodox solution to Florida’s manatee crisis, WESH reported.
During last week’s commission meeting, commissioner Curt Smith, District 4, raised the idea of culling manatees to prevent them from dying off from starvation.
“You know and I know that would be very difficult with manatees. Because everybody loves manatees. If you killed a manatee, my God, the world would come to an end,” Smith said, accoring to WESH.
On Thursday, during the most recent commission meeting, Smith was asked if he really thought that was the best solution.
“Everybody loves manatees. I love manatees. I love seeing them. It’s part of the scenery,” Smith said. “But we have to get real and the reality is that there has never been a calculation of what the carrying capacity should be for this habitat.”
Florida’s manatees are dying at record rates, mostly from starvation. Hundreds of manatees have died across the state so far this year.
Experts say killing them off won’t solve the problem, and could end up affecting other species.
“To have one of those commissioners to be so uninformed so ignorant of what the real problem is disconcerting. Certainly, the solution is not to have more manatees killed,” Patrick Rose, with the Save The Manatee Club, said.
Smith agreed the main problem was water pollution, but said the issue would take a while to fix, according to WESH.