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online manatee petition

2832 Views 18 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Kozlow
This does not ecactly apply to surf fishing but to fishing in general. So help if you can.

I wanted you to know that there is a new petition online that sends a FAX
to the Governor of Florida (Jeb Bush) urging him to commission a scientific
study of the Manatee issue.
For too long, Manatee protection politics have been driven by special
interest groups such as the Save the Manatee Club instead of sound science.

There is evidence that not only are Manatees harming the sea grass, which is
essential for a diverse marine biological population, but that we may have
actually harmed their normal migratory instincts by intentionally
discharging warm water from power plants during the winter months.

In addition, we do not know, scientifically, what is a "viable" long-term
population of Manatees - nor whether they are truly endangered.

The petition below asks Jeb Bush to get the National Academy of Sciences
involved in making scientific determinations on these and related issues -
to substitute sound science in place of pressure-group tactics.

This balanced approach, if adopted, should protect BOTH Manatees and the
right of people to boat and fish in Florida waters.

Your support is urged for this important petition.

Please go to

to read and sign this important petition.

Thank you!


The Internet is a powerful tool. Use ICQ, MIRC, AOL Instant Messenger,
and your email to spread the word. Tell your friends at work, those who
you communicate with personally, your friends at the bowling alley and
anyone else you can think of who would find this petition to be of

Thank you for your participation!
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Thank's Beachbms!

Just finished confirming my signature(email).

2,407 people have signed!

Tight lines
Read and signed, good to go. :)

First heard of the issue w/zealous Manatee types last time I was down FLA way fishing w/Jighead.

You alls Manatee crowd sounds like the same PETA folks who moved into my back yard some 5yr ago because they could no longer afford the rent in NY. Plus they probably "war" out their welcome there too :rolleyes:

Signed petition (#2464) and included my non-resident FLA fishing license No. for which I say ...

Hey Jimmy B. pass me some more of that Cajun fried Manatee - "Tastes BETTER then chicken" :D

Seriously there is room for both interest and "middle ground" should common sense and fear of the Lord prevail.

If not, Manatee "The other white meat!",

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Before anyone rushes to sign any petition let's give both sides hearing. Manatees are probably more of a bellweather of what happening to the quality of our waterways than we may think. Boaters and enviromentalists both have they're biases but they both deserve a hearing. Read http://www.savethemanatee.org/myths.htm
to learn what "other" side has to say.

Portland, saving the Manatee's in FLA, what gives :confused: You a Parrothead, a lost tree hugger, or a "Left Coast" member of PETA :mad:

Manatees have my respect as due all creatures of this earth - especially the ones I can eat :D

Pass the ...


FYI - Where are you now Koz ???
Hey Bucket
I put my Electronic Sig to that months ago.
I knew the other side would show up sooner
or later when I saw the post.I vote that
Science settle it not Special Interest. Just to let everyone know when I get my grocieres I do say plastic, save a tree.
What the hell.
Oh no did I just start another Issue here. :)
We will just have to wait and see on both points.

SIGN ON !!!!

P/S no other links needed here :D
Pertaining to the MYTH and Fact Sheet
I saw Myth statements followed by a Fact answers. No One Knows ETC. Maybe with this Petition we can lose the NO ONE KNOWS, NO DATA AVAILABLE and NO EVIDENCE.

Enough said I feel the need to wet a line or two.

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Took there Pics last summer in the Indian River.
I titled them Manatee Porn.

If anyone says that this is me touching one, and its not allowed, I will deny it! ;)
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Looks like a love fest to me! I must have counted 30 manatees trying to get some from one female who they had beached on the bank.

Bucket I was just busy playing with the Tee's
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i had this same issue when i posted this in the daytona news journal forum. Science is the only answer here. I have never hit a manatee going full down the riverm but I did hit one idleing in the mim wake manatee zone. concensus from other boaters is they can hear high tones of full speed but cannot hear idle. SCIENCE.........LOL STYX
Hey guys, sounds like I struck a nerve. I’m a native of Norfolk, Virginia and spend a couple months of the year fishing coastal waters from the Chesapeake down to St. Augustine. I grew up trapping, crabbing, hunting and fishing in Tidewater (hardly a candidate for PETA).
In Oregon and Washington , where I now reside, there’s occasionally an outcry over sea lions for declining salmon runs. The fish congregate upstream at dams and the sea lions chomp down on them like blues on bunker. But blaming the sea lions on the decline of salmon kind of misses the point. The dams jam up migration, strip logging continues to destroy stream after stream with erosion, untreated or undertreated sewage contaminates the rivers.
From Virginia to Florida development of former wetlands has destroyed much of the most productive spawning habitats in the world. The marsh water creek in Virginia where I used to trap muskrat, crab, and fish is a near dead zone. Homes and apartments cover what used to be marsh grasses, a freeway plows through the creek’s center, and an adjacent former city dump leashes toxic wastes into the water . Marsh grasses are covered with quarter million dollar homes and few know or remember or care what lies underneath.
Anyway, if we want to target the industries that are destroying our waterways with poison wastes or rid the marshes of the non-native pests like nutria, I’d say wipe 'em out. But I believe the manatees deserve some measure of protection, particularly if the result is some modicum of habitat protection . Something we’ve failed miserably in the past.
I like Kozlow’s sentiment “let science decide” , but in the absent of scientific facts let not shortchange common sense. Boaters -slow down when approaching sea grass beds, stay in the channels as much as possible, wear polarized glasses. Manatee populations seem to be fairly stable from what I’ve read and seen, but sea grasses beds are fast declining from prop scarring, excess nutrients, and the smothering effects of wake erosion and dredging.
Well it’s time for some sturgeon fishing here in Oregon. Tight lines.
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I understand your concern, but the problem is the Manatee Clubs. Manatee's aren't native to Florida, they migrated here like everyone else. Originally in the winter they stayed below Marco Island. Down there is plenty of food and few boats.
Electrical Plants,using the water to cool their Plants, discharged warm water. This interupted the migration of the Manatee's. This is where the problem comes in. As the water cools, the Manatee's head for the warm discharge instead of migrating south. But there is no food. The Manatee's, avoiding going through the cold, stay in the warm discharge until they're famished and weak. Disoriented and weak, they make the 9 mile trek to the nearest food. This is the Main Waterway Channel. Several problems with this; they're too weak and disoriented to get out of harms way, they're more susceptible to disease and they suffer and die from cold shock. All of this is happening during our Snowbird & Tourist season. Boat traffic is at its highest during this time.
Why do I blame the Manatee Club? Years ago many of the Power Plants switched fuels. This meant that water was no longer needed to cool the Plant. Manatee activist urged Power Plants to continue warm water discharging to keep the Manatee's there in the winter. These people know they're luring the Manatee's into a dangerous situation, but feel that their personal "viewing" is more important. Go back and carefully read why they're here in the winter and at what risk, then try to tell me that They Care!
Our local Manatee Club President, faced with fact and consequence(to the State's economy) is backpedaling big time! They may be able to con people who don't know the facts, but when people start losing there jobs and businesses(don't mouth off about that as its already happening - several companies have already gone under because of this!)its time for truth to take over.
The saddest thing about this is its all so a small group of people can have they're own little "Natural Zoo". All those people who have lost their jobs and businesses just so these people won't have to travel to see the Manatee's where they should be.

I could go on and on...but this isn't like your Sea Lion issue. The most humane thing to do is stop the artificial water discharge and close the "Manatee Park". Let them go back to where they are safe!
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Good point about the power plant warm water discharges, jighead. They make good year round fishing holes in Va., but if there attracting manatees in places they wouldn't be otherwise, I agree the plants shouldn't be artifically maintained.

Agreed "no wetlands - no seafood!" why I was active in NC Coastal Federation when I was in Raleigh. Now I'm in Norfolk and so is PETA, enough said since your here/were here and trapping no less :eek:

Awesome post Bill ! So does that "Let them go back where they'll be safe!" also go for Snowbirds :D

Nice photos Koz, surprised you weren't gigging one for dinner and - if that were you in the photo - I'd be careful as there still kind of "wild" animals. Let me guess all in the name of Science ;)

Happiness is a Manatee headed south for their natural waters and "others" headed North on I-75.

Go fish,

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Be glad to see them treking north. Don't mind the vacationers, but the Snowbirds still believe they own the place!!!
Be nice to be able to get to some of these fishing spots again!(roads are jammed!!)
very good info jighead, I had not heard it in quite that light and does make sence. Being a native from the northwest the seal issue is not exactly as oceanviewace protrayed. the seals are way way over populated. I have personally seen them so thick on a tributary (Cowlitz River) to the Columbia River that you could almost walk the mouth of river on them. this river is 60 miles form the ocean. In years past the indians used the river sealions for hunting. They are now protected. I ahve fished the Columbia in that area and had problems landing a salmon due to the fack a seal would eat the body and leave you a head to reel in. When you think of dams think of mega power. How are you going to get the power with out the dams --- nucular-which has its own stigma and problems. Last year was a record year for salmon rund in north west Wa, lots of my friends still fish them waters. The salmon problem cannot be blamed all on the dams. BTW Ive caught meny sturgon in the longview/kelso area of the cloumbia, is also very good wallie and bass fishing.
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Got a update from my dad on Sea Lion issue...Oceanviewace - my apology. Learned from my dad that commercial overfishing played a part and from Beachbms I hear of a Dam issue. It sounds like once again, were are worst enemy! :(
Dad said they were drawn there looking for food...once they found a good source...
Wanted to post the apology as I was a little harsh on last post.

Tight lines,

FWC's Second Manatee Count Trumps First
Published: Feb 2, 2003

T he Jan. 21-22 second phase of the annual manatee counts by the Fish & Wildlife Commission showed an even better result than the first, with biologists reporting 3,113 animals statewide, up from the 2,861 sighted Jan. 9.
Florida's east coast count, 1,814, is the highest since official counts began, in the early 1990s. The west coast result, 1,299, was well below the 1,756 sighted in 2001. However, some researchers said tannin- stained waters from the huge rains around New Year's probably reduced the number of animals that could be seen this year along the west coast.

The reported numbers have climbed regularly since 1991, when only 1,465 were sighted statewide. The fact that the totals double those of just 10 years ago lead some to conclude that manatees are fully recovered.

Others contend that the counts are not a good measure of manatee population trends. The counts always have missed significant numbers of animals, but counting methods have improved, so more animals might be seen even if populations are stagnant.

An FWC study of marked animals observed from the air is nearing completion and may give researchers a better handle on how effective their counting methods have been, according to state biologist Holly Edwards of the Florida Marine Research Institute in St. Petersburg.

The FWC met last month in Fort Myers and agreed to a set of ``measurable biological goals'' for establishing exactly when the much- loved species can be considered recovered to safe levels. The ruling came at the request of boating interests, who believe that the increasing counts indicate no further regulations on powerboats are needed to protect the animals.

Under the new guidelines, manatees will be considered recovered if:

1. The average annual rate of adult survival is 90 percent or greater.

2. The average annual percentage of adult females accompanied by first- or second-year calves in winter is 40 percent or greater.

3. The annual population growth statewide is equal to or greater than zero; there's no net loss of manatees.

The FWC also agreed to seek concurrence from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on the recovery goals. Thus far, the federal agency, under the gun from a lawsuit settlement with the Save the Manatee Club, has been pushing more stringent rules than the state commission. SNOOK CHECK: Captain Chet Jennings of Ruskin offered his services as a snook expert to Fish & Wildlife Commission officers during the below-freezing nights in late January, guiding them to spots where he knew there were plenty of snook - maybe enough to tempt poachers who might want to capture the cold-stunned fish.

``We pulled up to a hole in the Little Manatee where I knew there were snook, and there was a guy in a commercial boat throwing a castnet in there,'' Jennings said. ``When the officer motioned the guy to come over to us, he started digging snook out from under a stack of nets on the deck and tossing them overboard.''

Jennings said the officer recovered four short snook and charged the netter with possession of undersized snook, possession during the closed season, possession over the limit, and harvesting snook with a castnet. The nets were confiscated, according to Jennings. HOLDING ON: Ron Taylor, snook biologist with the FMRI in St. Pete, has been somewhat confounded by the durability of area snook in the cold.

``With the temperatures we have had, the bay should have been white with dead fish,'' Taylor said. ``But there appeared to be no significant kill whatever.''

Taylor speculated that the gradual decline of temperature this year allowed fish to become conditioned to the cold before the freeze hit, perhaps allowing most to survive. He also said heavy rains earlier may have recharged coastal springs and provided more warm- water refuges as a result.

In any case, Taylor estimated that no more than 1,000 snook died from cold statewide, only about 100 of those in Tampa Bay. Taylor said the kill would have no effect on the total snook population, estimated at around 1.6 million statewide.


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Feds file stepped-up manatee plan

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said this morning it will take additional steps to protect Florida’s manatee population from boat strikes, and will increase federal law enforcement to ensure compliance with the measures.

In an agreement filed today with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the agency said it would propose three new protection areas by March 31, and “establish specific time lines” for the posting of signs alerting boaters they are entering manatee safe havens.

“We expect these measures to help reduce the high rate of manatee deaths from collisions with boats,” Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast regional director with U.S. Fish and Wildlife, said in a statement.

The agency also promised to seek public input throughout the process. It has been criticized in the past for not taking boating interests into consideration.

In addition to creating new zones and posting the signs, Fish and Wildlife says it also plans to “significantly increase” the presence of federal law enforcement officers on the water to enforce speed zones.

Formal consultations with other federal agencies will also be conducted, officials say, for every proposed watercraft-related activity that could possibly affect manatees.

And finally, as part of the latest court agreement, the National Park Service has also vowed to increase protection efforts within Florida’s national parks.

“Our goal is that these further measures will decrease manatee mortality, especially in parts of Southwest Florida,” Hamilton said in a statement. “If we are able to see improvement as a result of these measures, then we can expect to have greater flexibility in how we approach watercraft access projects in the future.”

A copy of the final agreement with the U.S. District Court is available at http://northflorida.fws.gov.
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