Basic Guidelines Regarding Manatees
Follow these basic guidelines when you are near manatees.
- Don't feed manatees or give them water. If manatees become accustomed to being around people, they can alter their behavior in the wild, perhaps causing them to lose their natural fear of boats and humans, and this may make them more susceptible to harm. Passive observation is the best way to interact with manatees and all wildlife.
- Do not pursue or chase a manatee while you are swimming, snorkeling, diving or operating a boat.
- If a manatee avoids you, you should avoid it.
- Don't isolate or single out an individual manatee from its group, and don't separate a cow from her calf.
- Look, but don't touch manatees.
- Never poke, prod or stab a manatee with your hands, feet or any object.
- Don't attempt to snag, hook, grab, hold, pinch or ride a manatee.
- Avoid excessive noise and splashing if a manatee appears in your swimming area.
- Use snorkel gear when attempting to watch manatees. The sound of bubbles from scuba gear may cause manatees to leave the area.
- When snorkeling, don't wear a weight belt. Float at the surface of the water and passively observe the manatee.