With July 4th fast approaching there will be a lot of activity in and on the water. Please follow the below tips on boating to keep our marine wildlife safe.
Follow Coast Guard-approved safe boating guidelines, comply with slow speed zone signs and use vigilance to avoid striking sea turtles, manatees and dolphins.
Follow 10 dolphin-friendly viewing tips that can be found at www.mote.org. These tips were made with dolphins in mind, but they’re also great guidelines for the best ways to view all large marine animals.
Wear polarized sunglasses to better see marine life in your path.
Never feed marine wildlife. It’s harmful and illegal to feed wild dolphins
Be sure to stow trash and line when under way. Marine debris that accidentally blows overboard or out of a truck can become ingested by or entangled around marine life.
If you observe a manatee mating herd – several manatees gathered as males vie to mate with a female – watch the manatees from at least 100 feet away. Coming any closer might disrupt the animals’ natural mating behavior or put people into harm’s way. Adult manatees typically weigh upwards of 1,000 pounds and people could be seriously injured.
If you see a sick, injured or stranded sea turtle or marine mammal in Sarasota or Manatee County waters, please contact Mote Marine Laboratory’s Stranding Investigations Program at 941-998-0212. Outside of Sarasota or Manatee counties, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922).