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Press Release

Warren Man Pleads Guilty and is Sentenced for Shooting a Protected Seal

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine

Bangor, Maine: Acting United States Attorney Richard W. Murphy announced that Joseph A. Martin, 54, of Warren, Maine, pleaded guilty and was sentenced today in U.S. District Court by Magistrate Judge John C. Nivison to three days imprisonment and a $1,000 fine for taking a federally-protected marine mammal.

According to court records, on October 10, 2016, the defendant was acting as captain of a fishing vessel. Off the coast of Acadia National Park, multiple protected seals began to approach the defendant’s fishing vessel. The defendant retrieved his rifle and began to shoot at the seals in the ocean. After the shooting, one seal could be seen floating in the water with a dark liquid surrounding its body. "Federal law provides great protection to the marine mammals that live in our waters," said James Landon, Director, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Law Enforcement (“OLE”). "OLE is dedicated to enforcing those laws and seeing that those who violate them are held accountable for their illegal actions."

The investigation was conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement.


Andrew McCormack
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 945-0373

Updated June 28, 2017