Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How To Make Boaters Slow Down For Manatees

Date:
August 6, 2003
Source:
Society For Conservation Biology
Summary:
Many boaters exceed the speed limits set to protect manatees, and boat collisions cause about a quarter of the deaths of these endangered marine mammals in Florida. New research suggests that increased social pressure, especially law enforcement, would encourage more boaters to comply with speed limits.

Many boaters exceed the speed limits set to protect manatees, and boat collisions cause about a quarter of the deaths of these endangered marine mammals in Florida. New research suggests that increased social pressure, especially law enforcement, would encourage more boaters to comply with speed limits.

"An understanding of boaters' beliefs and attitudes towards manatees can shed light on their boating behaviors and can help identify potential interventions for encouraging behaviors that contribute to manatee conservation," say Richard Flamm of the Florida Marine Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Sampreethi Aipanjiguly, who did this work while at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and Susan Jacobson of the University of Florida in Gainesville in the August issue of Conservation Biology.

While managers and outreach organizations provide factual information about manatees, this has not been enough to encourage most boaters to comply with speed zones. In many parts of the Florida, only about half of boaters follow speed limits mandated to protect manatees from boat collisions.

To figure out how to encourage more boaters to follow speed limits, Flamm and his colleagues surveyed more than 500 boaters in Tampa Bay, Florida, where manatees live year-round. The researchers determined the relative strength of a variety of factors that might shape boaters' intentions towards following speed limits, such as the desire to reach their destination sooner, the fear of being fined, and pressure from groups such as family, friends and law enforcers. The researchers also assessed the boaters' knowledge of manatee conservation.

The results showed that the most important component of boaters' intentions to follow speed limits is their perception of social pressure to do it. Moreover, boaters were more motivated to comply with law enforcers than with family and friends who were on their boats. In addition, while boaters who knew more about manatees were more likely to support conserving them, only half of boaters knew that any activity that changes a manatee's behavior is harassment, including touching, feeding and swimming with manatees. Finally, more than a third of boaters said that manatee speed zones were not marked adequately.

Based on these findings, the researchers recommend three ways to increase compliance with regulations to protect manatees from boats. First, managers can strengthen boaters' intentions to follow speed and no-entry zone regulations by developing media campaigns that feature law enforcers' opinions on obeying speed limits, and by reporting recent incidents of enforcement to local newspapers and radio stations. News conferences and press releases should highlight the negative consequences of violating speed limits and no-entry zones, such as the risks of penalty, arrest, boat damage and hitting manatees.

Second, managers should use the media to inform boaters about boat-related manatee deaths and inappropriate boating behavior. Finally, regulated areas should be clearly marked on navigational guides, which are carried by more than two-thirds of boaters.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society For Conservation Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society For Conservation Biology. "How To Make Boaters Slow Down For Manatees." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030725080324.htm>.
Society For Conservation Biology. (2003, August 6). How To Make Boaters Slow Down For Manatees. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030725080324.htm
Society For Conservation Biology. "How To Make Boaters Slow Down For Manatees." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030725080324.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins