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Factors Influencing Behavior in a Boating Speed Zone

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The greatest source of human-related mortality for endangered Florida manatees is collisions with watercraft. Regulation of boat speeds is the principal management tool to minimize this threat. Demands on law enforcement limit their ability to monitor boater behavior and managers seek alternative strategies to increase compliance. The purposes of this study were to: (1) explore the effectiveness of an on-site sign to enhance boater compliance in a boating speed zone, and (2) examine the environmental and boating characteristics that influence the probability of compliance. Signs designed to increase compliance were posted halfway through the 18-week study period. The signs were not related to compliance level. Logistic regression models showed that only time of day and boat type were significantly related to compliance. Results suggest that passive methods of persuasion may not be an effective means of influencing boater behavior.

Keywords: Trichechus manatus; boating; compliance; fear appeal; manatee

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08920750601169642

Affiliations: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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