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Rules when interacting with the Manatee


manatee and calf


Please respect these gentle giants, their one and only threat are humans!

Do not pursue or chase a manatee you encounter while you're swimming, snorkeling, diving or operating a boat.

Never poke, prod or stab a manatee with your hands, feet or any object.

If a manatee avoids you, you should avoid it.

Give manatees space to move.

Don't isolate or single out an individual manatee from its group, and don't separate a cow and her calf. Even a few moments of separation could result in loss of communication which could be fatal.

Don't attempt to snag, hook, hold, grab, pinch or ride a manatee.

Use snorkel gear when attempting to watch manatees. The sound of bubbles from scuba gear may cause manatees to leave the area.

Float at the surface of the water to passively observe the manatees.

Fines up to $100,000 can occur if the rules are ignored.

It is your duty to report any harassment or misfortune of these awesome creatures. 


To report manatee harassment, injuries, deaths or orphaned calves,

please contact the FWC Resource Protection hotline at 1-888-404-3922

More Manatee FAQ brought to you by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commisssion
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