A fisherman in Cape Cod was fined $500 for freeing a whale by himself. According to authorities he violated The Marine Mammal Protection Act by not contacting "Official" disentanglers. He had faced much more serious punishment.
I'm not sure what whale protectionists and our government hope to gain by prosecuting good samaritans but if their intent is to antagonize commercial fishermen and other professional mariners then they are succeeding magnificently.
When scientists and government conspire against logic and common sense they enter the realm of absurdism.