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Fisherman arrested for defending bait.

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NEWPORT BEACH, California (AP) -- A fisherman accused of stabbing a sea lion with a steak knife after the animal stole his bait has been arrested.

The sea lion, a six-foot female weighing about 150 pounds, was stabbed in the heart and was euthanized, said Dean Gomersall, animal care supervisor at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach.

"It's a horrible thing," Gomersall said. "My crew is extremely upset, and we're just glad the person was caught."

Hai Nguyen, 24, was fishing off a Newport pier about 12:30 p.m. Friday when the sea lion snatched the bait from his fishing pole.

"It was close enough so he could just reach out and stab it in the water," said Sgt. Evan Sailor, a police spokesman. "A number of people witnessed it and called police."

Nguyen was arrested without incident at the pier and held at Newport Beach Jail on $20,000 bail. He was expected to be arraigned next week on a charge of felony cruelty to animals, authorities said.

The case also was being investigated by the U.S. attorney's office for possible federal charges under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Nguyen could face a $25,000 fine and up to a year in prison if convicted on the animal cruelty charge. A conviction on federal charges of violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act could add $12,000 in civil penalties, criminal fines of up to $20,000 and additional jail time, authorities said.

Rediculous that the fines are so high for a stinking seal!!!! >:(  I wish the tribes would exercise their right to shoot the damn things!!! :chuckle:

The drunk *censored*s are too busy gill netting fish for eggs and killing trophy elk to worry about a silly little seal PolarBear........you must have had a brain fart...I forgive you...


I got bitched at by the State Patrol a few years back for pulling and burning {I started the fire with litter} a couple indian fish nets on the lower Skagit. They had Fisher Slough completly blocked off with nets and the fish in them ranged from alive to rotted....... I popped a gasket........ I cut the ropes, pulled them in, released the live fish, started a fire and added the nets. First some Fisheries guys saw the smoke and I told them what I did and why. A Little later the State Patrol showed up and bitched at me and said I'd likely get shot if the indians returned. Never happen. That still pisses me off.

Haahaaa!!!!  I did that to some Squaxins that tied their chum nets off to my Dad's bulkhead.  I waited until they got out of sight, pulled the net up on the beach, picked out my oysters that were tangled in it and burned the damn thing on the beach.  They came back  a couple hours later and could not figure where their net was.  By then the tide had covered up the pile of melted plastic and was out of sight.  I also pulled a net out of the Skok and took it home for decoration.  One of my cousin's kids was swimming and got her foot hooked in the net which had been left there and was submerged under water.  We use to drop bales of hay off of the bridge over the Chehalis river at Montesano to wipe out gill nets down stream.  Pretty effective!


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