Alaska fishermen get hefty fines and probation for killing sea lions

A Cordova fishing boat captain can pay a $20,000 wonderful and apologize in a national magazine as part of a federal sentence for killing Steller sea lions.

The federal investigation started after 15 lifeless sea lions have been found at the mouth of the Copper River at the beginning of the 2015 salmon fishing season.

Cordova resident Jon Nichols, 31, may even serve three months of home arrest and five years of probation after admitting he used a shotgun to harass and shoot the federally protected marine mammals, based on a statement from the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace in Anchorage. U.S. Magistrate Decide Deborah M. Smith on Tuesday ordered Nichols to serve four hundred hours of group service and “publish a public apology in a national journal masking business

Theodore “Teddy” Turgeon, a 21-yr-previous from Wasilla who worked as a deckhand on Nichols’ boat, the Iron Disguise, was sentenced to 4 years of probation, one month of house incarceration, forty hours of group work service and a $5,000 high-quality, federal prosecutors stated.

Each males in June pleaded guilty to at least one rely of illegal take underneath the Marine Mammal Safety Act, prosecutors stated. Nichols also pleaded guilty to at least one rely of obstruction of a Marine Mammal Safety Act investigation.

Nichols was accused of directing his crew, including Turgeon, to shoot at sea lions while they have been fishing the Copper River in Might and June of 2015. At occasions, Nichols would shoot the animals himself and at different occasions he’d drive his boat closer to them to provide the others a better shot.

The lads removed the shotgun from the fishing vessel after studying they have been beneath investigation and coordinated false tales amongst crew members, in accordance with prosecutors. Nichols tried to impede a grand jury investigation by trying to affect crew members to offer false info, prosecutors stated.

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