While the US has not given a permit for the capture of a wild orca since 1989, other countries have undertaken hunts to catch orcas for exhibition. While there is no rule that prohibits orcas from being shown, there are restrictions that control the facilities that contain them. No captive breeding program has ever been successful; all whales kept in captivity die soon after entering the industry.
Illegal hunting would not only be unethical but also could threaten the long-term survival of this endangered species.
The legal trade in whale products exists primarily in Japan and China. In Japan, the harvest of small cetaceans for entertainment purposes is permitted with several hundred animals taken each year. Large cetaceans, such as sperm whales and baleen whales (rorquals), are hunted for their meat and oil, which is used as fuel for some factories in Tokyo. In China, nearly all large whales are considered sacred and should not be killed except under special circumstances when ordered by the government. Some Chinese believe that killing a whale will bring bad luck to your business or career.
In America, hunting orcas is prohibited by law. A federal statute called the Marine Mammal Protection Act bans the possession, sale, offer for sale, trade, or exchange of any marine mammal product, including whale meat and bone, DNA, and fat.
While several states have limited or prohibited canned hunting, there are currently no federal regulations governing the activity. Accidents when hunting ruin property and hurt or kill horses, cows, dogs, cats, hikers, and other hunters. Knowing how to avoid these problems will help you have a safe season.
Hunters should always use caution not to run down animals in field conditions. The best way to avoid accidents is by being aware of your surroundings while driving and listening for signs of wildlife. If you see an animal in the road, stop as quickly as possible to give it time to get off the road.
It's important to keep firearms unloaded until you're ready to go shooting so they don't go off accidentally. Store them where children cannot reach them. Keep them locked up when not in use.
Always wear appropriate clothing that will protect you from bites and stings. Wear bright colors that will make you stand out if you need to stop traffic. In cold weather, consider wearing clothes with warm fur or feathers, since animals will try to find shelter from the elements. Check on neighbors who may be less able than you to take care of themselves during hunting seasons. Let them know what time you'll be going into the woods and ask if they need anything while you're away.
Don't eat any part of the animal after it has been shot.
General Laws Only rifles, handguns, shotguns (no bigger than 10-gauge), muzzleloaders, portable bows and arrows, crossbows, or falconry may be used to hunt wild animals and wild birds. Laser sights (red dots or beam) for rifles and bows are permissible, as are deer and moose decoys. No more than three deer may be taken during a season.
Specialized equipment is required to take fish. Fishing licenses must be obtained from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Have a look at their website: www.maine.gov/ifw. You will find information on fishing rules, regulations, and areas open to fishing.
The only animal that cannot be hunted with a rifle or shotgun is the African elephant. They can be taken with an arrow or crossbow.
Fish species include salmon, trout, black bass, white bass, bream, freshwater drum, and gar. The season for most fish runs from May 1 until October 15. A license is required for anyone 16 years of age or older. There is a $10 fee for residents and $50 for nonresidents.