Point Hope walrus hunters put on probation for violating Marine Mammal Protection Act
Late last week, four point hope men were sentenced for the illegal taking of walruses that occurred near Cape Lisburne in 2015.
According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office on Thursday, Adam Sage, Jacob Lane, Guy Tuzroyluk, and Michael Tuzroyluk, Jr., pled guilty to violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act in two separate incidents. In September of 2015, the hunters shot several walruses, only salvaged the ivory, and caused stampedes which killed and injured more walruses.
Lane, Sage, and the Tuzroyluks have been ordered to each pay $1,000 in restitution, perform 500 hours of community service in Point Hope, apologize publicly to the Native Village of Point Hope, and are prohibited from hunting walrus for a year.
According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife special agent in charge, Ryan Noel, these stipulations and others are part of a three-year-long probation during which time the four convicted men cannot violate any additional federal laws.
To determine the final sentence, recommendations from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Native Village of Point Hope were taken into consideration by the presiding judge at the U.S. magistrate court in Fairbanks.
James Nash, Point Hope’s Tribal Council President, said, “The Native Village of Point Hope tribal government considers this a serious offense to our cultural way of life, and we are pleased our recommendations have been accepted.”
Acting U.S. Attorney in this case, Bryan Schroder, said the conditions of probation in this case represent a culturally informed resolution to marine mammal violations.
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