“Daniel Archibald surrendered Thursday to face charges and was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond,” nypost.com reports. “Archibald, who’s from Cape May, widely considered America’s oldest seaside resort, used a Mosin-Nagant rifle to shoot at pilot whales from the vessel Capt. Bob . . . A whale shot with a bullet from such a rifle was beached and then died in Allenhurst, more than 100 miles northeast of Cape May, in September 2011.” Ballistics on a three-year-old whale corpse has got to be difficult. But never mind. Danny confessed. Kinda . . .
Authorities said Archibald told them he had “sprayed” fire at pilot whales, which are extremely social animals, about a month earlier to chase them away from his vessel’s fishing lines.
Archibald’s lawyer Bill Hughes had his doubts about the case.
“I seriously question the U.S. attorney’s decisions with respect to this case,” Hughes said. “I wish the government had done a few things such as a fuller investigation and read the law.”
Under a 1972 federal law, it’s illegal to hunt, kill, capture or harass any marine mammal. The law exempts from penalties commercial fishermen who harm marine mammals incidentally.
Spray and pray you don’t hit whales with a Moison-Nagant? Not bloody likely, as the Brits would say.
Danny’s looking at some serious penalties courtesy the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (amended for fishermen in 1982): $20k per violation and a year in jail. The feds can also ding him for the entire value of his cargo at the time (tuna ain’t cheap). There’s an addition $25k civil penalty on the table, too. Not to mention the permanent loss of his gun rights.
The man who done turned him in could get a $2500 reward. But good luck finding work on another tuna boat. Just sayin’ . . .