Return-Path: <WHE_WILLIAM@flo.org> Received: from flo.org by VMSVAX.SIMMONS.EDU (MX V3.1C) with SMTP; Fri, 03 Jun 1994 14:14:30 EDT Date: Fri, 3 Jun 1994 14:19:46 -0400 (EDT) From: WHE_WILLIAM@flo.org To: email@example.com Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Whale Harassment Fine From: SMTP%"MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET" 3-JUN-1994 14:13:42.52 To: WHE_WILLIAM CC: Subj: U/W Videographer Fined For Har Date: Fri, 3 Jun 1994 11:01:03 PDT Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET> Sender: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET> From: email@example.com Subject: U/W Videographer Fined For Har To: Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET> ----------------------------Original message---------------------------- U/W Videographer Fined For Harassing Whales By Betse Hymphrey Underwater USA Volume 11, Number 2, June 1994 page 52 An underwater photographer was fined $10,000 for harassing pilot whales off Hawaii in May, 1991. The entire incident was captured on video by the photographer when one of the whales attacked his assistant. The fine was the maximum amount allowed by law. "In 1991, Tepley and his assistant took off in a raft to photograph pilot whales in Hawaii," says Scott Smullen, of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration Public Affairs office. "They chased the whales for awhile, then got into the water with them. While petting them, one of the whales grabbed his assistant by the leg and dragged her underwater, then returned her to the surface." Tepley videotaped the incident and then sold it to the television program "I Witness Video" for $5,000. In it, Lisa Costello was bit in the thigh and dragged 40 feet underwater by one of the pilot whales. Federal Administrative Law Judge Hugh J. Dolan ruled that Lee Tepley "committed an egregious violation of the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act when he deliberately chased and allowed another person to swim with and pet pilot whales off Hawaii." The judge noted that the valuable public function served by underwater photography cannot excuse or justify this type of deliberate violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. "This case is a perfect example that whales and other marine mammals should be respected and admired from a distance in the wild," says Dr. Gary Matlock, Actine Regional Director, southwest Region, of the National Marine Fisheries Service. "The incident was unfortunate and nearly resulted in tragedy. NMFS is pleased that there will be accountability for this serious misconduct." After hearing expert testimony from Dr. Sam Ridgway, a senior scientist for animal care with the U.S. Navy, Judge Dolan found that Tepley had interrupted the whales' normal behavior and harassed them by pursuing them with his boat. The harassment continued when Tepley's assistant, Lisa Costello, entered the water. "The whale's behavior in dragging Costello below the surface was indicative of a whale disciplining its young," Dolan says in his ruling. Clearly, the whales did not want the human's continued presence in their environment, and acted out against the human who was the most annoying."