A Captain's Perspective: Safeguarding Cape Canaveral's Marine Life

Published November 15th, 2023 by Reel Magic Adventures

As a seasoned captain here in Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, and the Merritt Island area.  I've had the privilege of navigating the beautiful waters of this coastal gem for many years. Over time, I've witnessed the balance above and below the surface, and it's clear to me that protecting our marine life is not just a responsibility; it's a way of life.

One of the lessons I've learned over the years is the importance of handling encounters with wildlife with care and compassion. Take, for instance, the pelicans, seagulls and sea turtles that occasionally find themselves entangled in fishing lines. Cutting the line might seem like a quick fix, but as someone who intimately knows these waters, I know that gently capturing and removing the hook is the right way to go. And gently releasing them. We are in their environment. It's about preserving the delicate balance that sustains our marine ecosystem.

Allow me to share a recent experience that underscores the significance of this approach. A group of tourists on my boat recently spotted a distressed pelican struggling with a fishing hook lodged in its beak. Instead of resorting to the quick but potentially harmful solution of cutting the line, we decided to take a more compassionate route. Carefully, we approached the pelican, capturing it without causing further distress. With skilled hands and a deep sense of responsibility, we noticed it had 5 hooks all lodged into the bird. We gently removed all the  hooks, ensuring the bird's safety and well-being. The relieved look in the pelican's eyes reminded us why these actions matter. For 2 weeks after cleaning him up, he would go to the bow of the boat and hang out during each trip.

Cape Canaveral's marine life isn't just a picturesque backdrop for tourists; it's a vital component of our local economy and identity. Our rich biodiversity, from playful dolphins to lumbering manatees, draws visitors from far and wide. Responsible tourism is the key to ensuring that our coastal haven continues to thrive. It's about showing our guests the wonders of our eco system while instilling in them a deep respect for the creatures that call it home.

As a seasoned captain, I've seen the delicate balance of nature up close. I've witnessed the awe and wonder of mother nature. And I've come to understand the profound responsibility we have to protect this irreplaceable resource. It's a responsibility that extends beyond my role as a captain; it's a commitment shared by all, who visit and call Cape Canaveral home.

In conclusion, the waters of Cape Canaveral are not just a workplace for me; they're a calling and a passion. I've watched this coastal paradise evolve, and I'm dedicated to ensuring that it continues to thrive. So let's come together as a community, embracing responsible practices and educating others about the importance of preserving our marine life. Together, we can ensure that Cape Canaveral remains a haven for both seasoned captains like me and the incredible marine life that makes it so extraordinary.

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