New signs read, “Do Not Feed, Attempt to Feed, Tease or Harass Wild Dolphins”, at Port Canaveral, one of the world’s busiest ports. The adhesive-backed placards warn such actions are illegal as specified under the federal Marine Mammal Protection act of 1972 and that violators could face up to a $100,000 fine. The warning is part of a new visitor education program aimed at protecting wild dolphin swimming near the Brevard County, Florida Port, and part of the Green Marine-certified Port’s ongoing commitment to strong environmental stewardship.
“Recreational boaters and fishermen can help protect wild dolphins by not feeding or attempting to feed them. A fed dolphin is a dead dolphin,” explains Stacey Horstman, bottlenose dolphin conservation coordinator for NOAA Fisheries Southeast Region. “Feeding dolphins puts them at greater risk of harm or death from boat strikes, entanglements in fishing gear, ingestion of fishing hooks and contaminated food, and other types of harm.”
The placards are posted on concrete pillars, seawalls and pilings at key locations around the Port, including the Ocean Club Marina, Bluepoints Marina, the Port Canaveral Yacht Club, The Cove entertainment area, popular land and offshore fishing and charter boat locations, the Freddie Patrick Park Boat Ramp and at the Rodney S. Ketcham Boat Ramp. www.PortCanaveral.com