State wildlife officials say down-listing the manatee from endangered to threatened won’t affect the way it’s protected - because the marine mammals are still protected under federal law. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission last week voted to reclassify the manatee – citing population increases over the past few decades. “Save the Manatee Club’s” incoming Executive Director - Patrick Rose – says only a small percentage of the current manatee speed zones statewide are federally enforced…and he’s far more concerned about what the Florida Legislature might do.
“They have several times in the past several years weakened the Manatee Sanctuary Act. And because of the unique situation the constitutional authority that was given to the Fish & Wildlife Commission, they only have legislative authority to protect the manatees.”
The FWC has no constitutional authority of its own over endangered and threatened marine species like sea turtles and manatees.
Monday, 12 June 2006 01:00
Manatee Reclassification #1Written by Mike Kiniry