According to the Orlando Sentinel, sadly, manatees are dying at a record pace across Florida waters. The reasoning for these common underwater fatalities can be attributed to algae blooms, cold weather, and marine propellers.
The marine propeller market is projected to grow as much as $5 billion by 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.2%. Allyson metals like nickel, aluminum, bronze, and metal are widely used for production and manufacturing of these underwater propellers, giving them excellent corrosion resistance and power. Aluminum bronze alloys are typically made up of between 9% and 12% aluminum and up to 6% nickel and iron.
Though these marine propellers are powerful, efficient, and even necessary, unfortunately, they can be quite dangerous to marine mammals — especially manatees.
“Manatees may join polar bears as one of the first iconic victims of extinction in the wild from climate change,” said Jeff Ruch, executive director at the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
Though much needs to be done in order to fight back against the climate issues, at least there are ways to better protect manatees from dangerous underwater propellers.
Biologists have developed ways to actually track the movement of manatees underwater, enabling them to identify when the sea mammals are nearing potentially harmful propellers.
“This will allow us to track and monitor their behavior and hopefully their progress and how they’re doing in the coming months,” added Mary Stella, of the Dolphin Research Center, which is often called upon to help with manatee captures and releases. “This is important. They were only a few months old at the time of their rescue. They were dependent on their mother.”
Unfortunately, this approach can only work while the manatees are still young, and are usually removed after about four months — so more research is needed in order to protect adult manatees from the various underwater dangers.