A commercial boat captain from Louisiana in the US, who was charged in early December with the shooting of a dolphin in the Mississippi Sound in 2012 has now been sentenced under the US Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).
Brent Buchanan was found guilty of illegally taking a marine mammal in federal waters and ordered him to undertake 200 hours of community service, serve three years of probation with three months of home confinement, and pay a fine of $2,500.
WDC has become increasing concerned about incidents like these which have become more common. Between 2002 and 2012, a total of 12 cases of dead dolphins with evidence of gunshot wounds were documented by US authorities. A number of other possible dolphin shootings along the northern Gulf Coast since 2012 are being investigated. Dolphins in the region continue to face impacts from the Gulf oil spill, fishing gear entanglements, and habitat loss.
WDC is horrified that they are also subjected to these brutal attacks, and continues to seek information from anyone who may have details pertaining to these incidents, including any photos or video. Anyone possessing information relating to such an incident in the US is requested to contact NOAA Office of Law Enforcement at 1-800-853-1964 or a state wildlife law enforcement agency. Individuals can leave anonymous tips or identify themselves when providing their reports on the incident.