Comments: This species has been hunted for meat, bone, hides, and fat (subsistence harvest mainly, some commercial harvest formerly in South America). Some subsistence hunting still occurs in parts of Central and South America. Some people believe that certain parts of the body have medicinal value.
Manatee populations may not eat enough to be an effective control on undesirable aquatic plants (Van Meter 1987), though Reeves et al. (1992) gave two examples of apparently successful weed control by manatees in South America.