2 boaters fined for getting too close to orca whales

Orca whales

SEATTLE (AP) — Two boaters accused of illegally approaching endangered Southern Resident killer whales in rented boats were fined for violating regulations that protect the whales.

State and federal regulations require recreational boats to stay at least 300 yards to the sides of orcas and 400 yards in front and behind them.

NOAA Fisheries says a boater from Entitat got within 100 yards of the J Pod off near San Juan Island. The boater paid a $300 fine.

In the second incident, a boater from Roslyn got within 100 yards of the whales with his engine running. The man was fined $3,000, but admitted liability in exchange for paying $2,700.

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