“I Goofed Up” Says Man Who Cut Off Whale Tail

September 3rd, 2010 by Staff


It was quite the scene early Thursday morning along a stretch of Delray Beach, after a man cut the tail off of a dead whale that had washed ashore.

Chris Hogan, 60, was standing at the ocean’s edge fishing for blue crabs when someone walking on the beach showed him a cell phone picture of a dead eight foot whale, which was found in the 200 block of S. Ocean Drive.

Hogan reportedly went to the whale, pulled out his fishing knife and cut its tail off as other beach goers screamed at him.

“What can I say; there it was, there I was, I goofed up,” Hogan said.

Hogan didn’t know until he had already performed the tail amputation that it was against the law.

“I cut the tail off,” Hogan said. “Then the lifeguard showed up, and I found out it was a big no-no.”

“The Marine Mammal Protection Act forbids anyone from touching these animals in any way, and of course, butchering the animal or taking piece or parts for souvenirs or whatever,” said Lt. Atwell Pride of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“People get weird ideas all the time,” said Prof. Edward O. Keith, of Nova Southeastern University.

He says whale is a dish in some countries.

“Japan, Iceland, other places, it’s still a part of other cultures,” he said.

John Delarocca couldn’t believe what he saw when he came upon Hogan and his friend cutting away at the whale. He was even more shocked when he heard why they were after the tail.

“I asked the guy why,” Delarocca said. “He said he was going to take home the tail and make soup out of the tail. That’s where the protein is. He wanted to make soup.”

Hogan admitted that’s exactly what he was planning, a big simmering pot of whale soup.

“I would have tried to make a soup out of it, like a shark meat soup,” Hogan said. “I don’t know if it’s even possible. I just didn’t know it’s illegal. Now I know!”

It wasn’t immediately clear if Hogan will face any charges.

“Something could pan out a little later on that they’re actually responsible for killing this animal,” said Lt. Atwell Pride of FWC. “We believe it just washed up on the beach, even so, the marine mammal protection act forbids anyone from touching these animals in any way, and of course butchering the animal or taking pieces of parts for souvenirs or whatever their intentions were.”

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