Nancy Black

Nancy at Marine Mammal Conference
(Nancy and Sam, 2005)



Latest News

The Charges & Public Information


Why DOJ should drop the charges

How to Help


Nancy Black is an internationally recognized whale scientist who has been researching the biology of whales, and dolphins in Monterey Bay, California for more than 20 years. To the disbelief of all who know and admire her, on January 4, 2012, the U.S.Department of Justice, based on secret testimony, indicted Nancy, charging her with two felony and two misdemeanor charges associated with her whale research activities and whale-watching business. No other person or business was included or mentioned in the indictment.

If convicted, Nancy would face up to 20 years in federal prison, fines of up to $500,000 and forfeiture of her inflatable research boat. On February 2, Nancy pleaded not guilty to all charges. She is currently facing trial in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California.

The hundreds of fellow whale researchers and conservationists who know and have worked with Nancy believe these charges are unfounded and should be dismissed. We are convinced that she has done nothing illegal and will be found innocent in any trial.

To defend herself, Nancy has had to hire two attorneys, including a specialist in federal criminal law to represent her at trial. The fees for her attorneys during the six year investigation leading to this indictment and the trial threaten to bankrupt her, and stop her future research even if she is found innocent. This would be a tremendous loss for whale science and conservation of whales in Monterey Bay and elsewhere, as well as being unjust.

This website is intended to provide you with factual information about the charges and their lack of merit,  current developments in her trial, a description of who Nancy is, her contributions to whale science and conservation, and suggestions as to how you can help.

Disclaimer:  This website is entirely the work of Nancy's friends and volunteers who include many other whale scientists, and does not represent the official position of Nancy or her attorneys on any issue. If you have any corrections, additions or questions, please e-mail us at