FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Stephanie Dorezas
NOAA assessed a civil penalty of $13,000
against the Pacific Whale Foundation in a Notice of a Violation
and Assessment (NOVA) for actions that occurred between January
and May of 1998.The charges include one count of failing to allow
inspection of research records by providing a federal agent with
falsified documents; one count of unauthorized approaches to
within 100 yards of humpback whales; three counts of failing
to include various data resulting from their research efforts
in their annual report; one count of allowing unauthorized personnel
to operate a vessel during research activities; and one count
of failing to keep complete and accurate records of research
Settlement negotiations between NOAA's Office of General Counsel and the Pacific Whale Foundation are currently underway.PWF may decide to either pay a penalty or request a hearing before an administrative law judge.
The Fisheries Service is an agency of the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation's living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement, and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat.