01/10/2013 09:12 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Whale Harasser Fined, Ordered To Write Newspaper Article

A Campbell River man convicted of harassing killer whales near Quadra Island in 2010 has been handed an unusual sentence.

Carl Eric Peterson has been fined $7,500 dollars — but he's also been ordered to write an article for the local newspaper warning others not to harass whales.

Crown lawyer Larry Reynolds says it's the first time the Species at Risk Act was used to prosecute a case involving marine mammals.

"In addition to standard sentencing principles involving such things as fines or prison sentences, it also includes such things as allowing a person who’s convicted to provide an article to local newspapers that basically sets out what happened, and that informs the public,” Reynolds said.

Peterson, 52, was found guilty on two counts of harassing and disturbing killer whales after the recreational boater repeatedly accelerated towards two killer whales, coming within 10 metres of the pair.

Peterson’s fine will be paid to Environment Canada's Environmental Damages Fund.

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