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Environment

Lawsuit Seeks Lighter Legal Protections for Manatees

manatee.jpg
Wikipedia Commons

Business groups are again suing federal wildlife managers to try and force them to lessen legal protections for Florida's beloved manatees.

The Pacific Legal Foundation on Friday filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Ocala. The lawsuit seeks to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to lessen legal protections for the sea cows.

Among concerns voiced by boaters and businesses are federal boat speed restrictions that they claim harm fishing and tourism on King's Bay, a popular manatee wintering spot.

The group Save Crystal River, represented by PLF, filed an initial complaint in 2012 arguing that the government's own 2007 review of manatee numbers recommended reclassifying the animals as "threatened" as opposed to "endangered."

A spokesman for USFWS was not immediately available for comment.