The U.S. Attorneys Office in Boston probably spent tens of thousands of dollars investigating, prosecuting, pleaing out, and publicizing this case.
The fine collected: $500.
Although we are saddened this happened to the poor whale, it shows the priorities of the U.S. Department of Justice are out of whack.
From going after innocent Democratic political participants to going after foolish fishermen, the Rove Republican Racket truly dumbed down the DOJ.
From the Los Angeles Times:
A Massachusetts fisherman has been fined for freeing a whale that had become entangled in his fishing gear. In a plea deal, Chatham resident Robert Eldridge was fined $500 after pleading guilty in Federal court to violating the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. He had faced up to $100,000 in fines and a year in prison. According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston, Eldridge was operating a commercial fishing boat last year and had set gill nets in an area where humpback whales were present, and one promptly got entangled.Upon learning of the trapped cetacean, Eldridge attempted to free it himself rather than calling the toll-free Marine Animal Disentanglement Hotline -- the number for which he had posted on his boat -- to bring in licensed marine mammal rescue workers. Unable to disentangle the whale, he eventually cut the gear
from the boat, leaving about 30-feet of line on the marine mammal.