This aerial view of Monterey Bay from the south was created by combining computer-generated topographic and bathymetric data.
Vertical relief has been exaggerated to better show the Monterey Canyon and mountains on either side of the bay.Monterey Bay Acquarium Research Institute
Prosecutors have dropped their lawsuit against a California fisherman who they alleged took a government-owned scientific buoy “hostage” after it nearly struck his fishing vessel earlier this year in Monterey Bay.
Daniel Sherer, the fisherman, had kept the buoy in his possession for at least 10 weeks after the January 15 incident where it came loose and nearly struck his vessel. He demanded that the United States Geological Survey compensate him.
According to Courthouse News Service, the buoy has been returned to authorities, but it is not clear when or how the handover took place.
Last month, federal prosecutors filed an amended civil complaint in US v.
Sherer. Prosecutors had asked the court to mandate the return of the buoy and $115,000 in damages.
The way the government saw it, Sherer and his fishing business partner were essentially hostage-takers, as they had recovered a loose oceanic science buoy, claimed ownership of it, and demanded the government pay them $13,000 for its return.
For his part, Sherer had told Ars that he merely wanted adequate compensation for losses he says were caused by the buoy, which popped up out of the ocean in January 2016 and got tangled up in his boat’s propellers.
As a result, his boat was out of commission for about four days.
“I have no problem giving it back tomorrow—I have no problem giving it back today,” Sherer said in April 2016. “Just understand that you guys need to compensate us something. We’ve lost in this deal.”
Sherer, his attorney Robert Bartosh, the prosecutors, and the USGS were not immediately available for comment.