This is the lesson that Seaside Aquaculture owner Khan Vu has hopefully learned after being charged, found guilty, and sentenced under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Both Vu and the company were ordered to pay $40,000 to the Texas Park and Wildlife Foundation and a $5,000 fine and put on eighteen months probation after being found guilty in federal court. How bad was Vu and company? According to evidence presented at trial:
“The agents found the carcasses of approximately 90 brown pelicans, 17 great blue herons, five great egrets, four black-crowned night herons, four turkey vultures, two osprey, two gulls and one scaup. Seaside’s employees denied shooting any birds; however, owner Vu admitted to shooting six pelicans to prevent them from eating his fish. At trial, and again at the sentencing hearing today, the defense unsuccessfully attempted to assert that the birds had died as a result of running into power lines.”
Birds are protected and can’t be shot at will, even in Texas. When will people learn this lesson?