Concerns about feeding dolphins in the St Johns River

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and several other organizations say as more people get on the water this summer, there's concern over people feeding dolphins and other wildlife in the St. Johns River.

Dr. Quinton White is the Executive Director of the Marine Science Research Institute at Jacksonville University.

"People live seeing dolphins, love seeing manatees, they want to be around them but they need to be cautious," he said.

Dr. White says if boaters feed dolphins, the animals will associate boats with food, and could be injured or killed if they get too close.

"They could get hit by a propeller and die," he said.

There are also legal consequences. According to the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act, it's illegal to feed a wild dolphin is U.S waters. People caught could face a $20,000 fine and a year in jail.

"It's fun to watch dolphins in the wild, just relax and do that," said Dr. White.


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