FWC enhancing boat patrols after 89 manatees killed by watercraft this year

Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is increasing boat patrols to keep manatees safe, as 89 have been killed by watercraft-related injuries so far in 2019.

According to FWC numbers, 122 manatees were killed by watercraft in all of 2018.

Across the Tampa Bay area, 16 manatees have been killed by watercraft.

FWC confirmed in a media release Wednesday they are “increasing patrols in strategic areas of the state to enhance manatee conservation and public safety.”

ZooTampa cares for many manatees with boat strike injuries at their Manatee Critical Car Center.

“A couple things we’ll see is outward wounds, but also a lot of the damage is internal. So they’ll have collapsed lungs, bleeding internally, so there’s a number of things that boat strikes can do that are harmful to manatees,” said staff veterinarian Dr. Lauren Smith.

A representative for FWC told 8 On Your Side, “we strategically assign officers statewide depending upon what is going on during a given weekend, season, etc.”

FWC could not confirm exactly where enhanced patrols will take place, but said in the release Lee, Brevard and Volusia counties have reported higher numbers of boat strikes on manatees.

As of July 9, 324 manatees have died in Florida. Last year saw a total of 824 deaths.

Boaters can do their part in manatee conservation by following posted speed zone signs, wearing polarized sunglasses to be able to see manatees more easily and avoiding boating over seagrass beds and shallow areas.

To report an injured or distressed manatee, call FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC.

To learn more about manatee fatalities so far this year, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

"Drive-by" donation drives encourage giving from a distance

Thumbnail for the video titled ""Drive-by" donation drives encourage giving from a distance"

Manatee County inmates make PPE in jail

Thumbnail for the video titled "Manatee County inmates make PPE in jail"

St. Pete police thank local healthcare workers

Thumbnail for the video titled "St. Pete police thank local healthcare workers"

Do the ZooTampa animals know we are gone?

Thumbnail for the video titled "Do the ZooTampa animals know we are gone?"

Wiped out of toilet paper? Here's why

Thumbnail for the video titled "Wiped out of toilet paper? Here's why"

Plant City Sunoco surveillance video

Thumbnail for the video titled "Plant City Sunoco surveillance video"

CarMax to furlough more than 15,000 associates

Thumbnail for the video titled "CarMax to furlough more than 15,000 associates"

Coronavirus: Florida reports over 600 new cases, deaths in Hillsborough, Manatee counties

Thumbnail for the video titled "Coronavirus: Florida reports over 600 new cases, deaths in Hillsborough, Manatee counties"

Police seek alleged peeping Tom in Clearwater

Thumbnail for the video titled "Police seek alleged peeping Tom in Clearwater"

Funeral Homes adjust services amid pandemic

Thumbnail for the video titled "Funeral Homes adjust services amid pandemic"

Thursday Morning Forecast

Thumbnail for the video titled "Thursday Morning Forecast"

8OYS investigates: WHO says people don’t need masks, CDC says you do

Thumbnail for the video titled "8OYS investigates: WHO says people don’t need masks, CDC says you do"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss