Record number of manatees killed by boaters in Florida in 2018

It wasn't the highest overall death toll on record, though.

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click to enlarge 121 manatees were reportedly killed by boat strikes in 2018. -
121 manatees were reportedly killed by boat strikes in 2018.

Florida boaters did some serious damage to our state's manatee population last year. 

In their annual mortality report, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says that a total of 823 manatees died in Florida waters in 2018, and 121 manatees of those were killed by a boat strike. This number breaks the previous record of 106 deaths from 2016 and 2017 —Florida boaters also killed 106 manatees in 2017, as well. 

According to the FWC, Florida's months-long battle with toxic algae killed 91 manatees and is suspected in at least 118 more deaths.

While boat strikes were up, the 823 total deaths in 2018 wasn't the largest ever on record. In 2013, Florida experienced 830 reported manatee deaths. 

The FWC says roughly 7,500 to 10,300 manatees are currently located in Florida waters. 

This article originally appeared at

About The Author

Colin Wolf

Colin Wolf has been working with weekly newspapers since 2007 and has been the Digital Editor for Creative Loafing Tampa since 2019. He is also the Director of Digital Content Strategy for CL's parent company, Euclid Media Group.
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