Wrangell Sentinel -


Charter vessel fined for whale encounter


JUNEAU (AP) – The owner and operator of an Alaska charter vessel has been fined for getting too close to whales.

Administrative law judge Susan Biro last week fined Geoffrey Wilson and Alaska Yacht Charters $5,000 in connection with the 2010 incident in southeast Alaska.

Wilson hasn't decided whether to appeal.

Federal law prohibits coming within 100 yards of humpbacks.

According to Biro's decision, Wilson was preparing to take clients fishing when a crewmember spotted whales nearly 2 miles away. The clients wanted to see them. Wilson asked his crewmember where she'd seen them before setting off. He approached another vessel and tried to move out of its way when whales breached within 10 yards of his boat.

Biro found the incident wasn't intentional but that Wilson should've been more careful.


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