America, where whales are safe from illegal… feeding?

January 6th, 2012

A California marine biologist is facing more than 20 years in prison, and over half a million dollars in fines… for feeding a group of whales during a 2005 research trip.Feed a whale, go to jail

I, for one, am certainly glad that the US Department of Justice and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration could spare the resources to investigate this heinous crime. Illegal whale feeding is an unforgivable offense, and a known gateway to more serious crimes, such as dolphin riding.

In all seriousness, this is completely idiotic.

I won’t bother rehashing the details of the report, but it looks like the majority of the charges against the biologist are because she allegedly falsified evidence and lied to investigators. If she had been straight and simply told the truth (assuming she committed the “crime” at all), she would “only” be facing four years in prison and a $400,000 fine. For whale feeding. And this is over a single incident, that occurred in 2005. Keep in mind that no whales were actually harmed, only… fed.

I’m sure that there is a very good reason why feeding whales is illegal, and I’m certainly not condoning the accused biologist’s actions, if a crime was indeed knowingly committed.

However, can we take a step back and ignore the letter of the law for a minute, and ask ourselves if we’re really serving justice by destroying a person’s life over an incident of illegal whale-feeding? There is a reason why the US has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world, and I don’t think it is because criminals tend to migrate here…

  1. Kroberts
    January 6th, 2012 at 23:41 | #1

    “and I don’t think it is because criminals tend to migrate here…”


  2. January 7th, 2012 at 00:01 | #2


    Well, in our country, South Africa, the prison term penalty for not paying your license to own a Television can be more harsh than murdering someone, so if a TV license inspector is coming to your house, kill him, you will get a shorter sentence and a chance of not being caught 😛

    There are many things that I believe in society should carry less of a penalty – Drugs for example should be freely available by anyone. In fact, in the interest of choosing the lesser evil, drug manufacturers should be apply to apply for a special classification and disclaimer similar to cigarettes – “this shit will f–k you up, but we make it in the interest of preventing criminal activity”

    I believe many items should be regulated like this. As long as a person is only a danger to himself, there should be no reason not let them do whatever they want.

    Either you ban all harmful products or you let all be available.

    If you could pick up cocaine in the local drug store for $5 an ounce, you think the drug dealers would be able to turn a profit? I don’t think so.

  3. January 7th, 2012 at 00:02 | #3

    just my 2c

  4. Sigh
    January 7th, 2012 at 01:03 | #4

    Replace instances of “whale-feeding” with “pot-smoking” and I would find it just as ridiculous.

  5. Yvonne
    January 7th, 2012 at 08:43 | #5

    In the Netherlands you get away with 4 years or so for rape or murder. So the penalty seems completely out of context. A fee would be a more apropriate punishment, if there should be any punishment at all and if the feeding has really taken place and is in fact against the law.
    She is not a murderer or a terrorist but simply forgot herself over the enthousiasme of being so close to these magnificant animals.
    To the people who occupy themselves with these kind of investigations and trials I would like to say: get your priorities right, make yourself usefull and stop wasting tax money.

  6. January 7th, 2012 at 14:58 | #6

    I’ve always been the first to defend the USA from european hate, but seriously enough already. If feeding whales was illegal in America 90% of the american population would starve.
    Lose some weight, get a clue and then rejoin the international community. Otherwise just wall the place off and leave em to their own hateful misery.

  7. leckt
    January 7th, 2012 at 15:22 | #7

    The US has a specific law:( ) The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972. This is why it was illegal.

    Personally I believe the sentence should only be a heavy fine with no jail time.

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