University of Florida researchers are developing a hydrophone system to detect manatees in congested waterways while warning boaters to slow down.
The system plays Manatee sounds then llistens for a response from any nearby Manatees. The response triggers warning lights above the surface alerting boaters.
"Is it going to be fool proof?" said Dr. Deke Beusse, of the University of Florida. "No, surely there are going to be some silent manatees. But if we can cut down 25, to 30 percent , we're saving a lot of manatees, we're helping boaters."
Scientist must still determine how well manatees hear and can be heard underwater.
State and federal officials will decide where the hydrophone systems will be employed.