Nfld. & Labrador

Boat operators charged after alleged whale chase caught on camera

For the first time ever, a tour boat company in Newfoundland and Labrador has been charged with disturbing a whale under the Marine Mammals Act.
DFO is investigating an incident where two boats were chasing whales 1:40

A well-known tour boat company that provides iceberg and whale tours in St. John's and Twillingate has been charged with disturbing a whale under the Marine Mammals Act.

Iceberg Quest Ocean Boat Tours and another boat are seen off the coast of Newfoundland, allegedly disturbing a whale, in August 2014. (CBC)

It's the first time charges of disturbing a mammal have been laid in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

The charge against Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours Inc. stems back to August 2014, when a CBC crew was riding along with Jack Lawson, a research scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Lawson and his team were working with the whales when a couple of boats, including a tour boat filled with tourists, moved in and prevented them from continuing their research.

The incident with the tour boat and a smaller boat, which were accused of getting too close to the whale, was caught on camera

Walter Reddick, a resident of Tors Cove, has also been charged under the act. 

Both Iceberg Quest and Reddick have first court appearances scheduled at provincial court in St. John's on May 14.