Correction: This story initially stated that the video showing Gary Golding eating the dolphin was aired in an episode of ‘Naked and Afraid,’ which was based on inaccurate reporting in an Orange County Register article that has since been corrected.
A video showing the host of Naked and Afraid: Alone eating a dead baby dolphin has led to an investigation to determine whether he violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Laguna Beach Lifeguards and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) launched the probe the day after the celebrity news website TMZ published a story on Jan. 12 that featured a video showing Gary Golding cut into and then eat the dolphin. “I’m a scavenger on Naked and Afraid and I’m going to live up to what I do,” Golding says in the video, adding, “I’m going to eat dolphin heart and dolphin back scrap. I don’t want it to go to waste. I’m going to nourish myself with it.” The environmentalist reaches into the body of the dolphin, tears out its heart, cuts meat from its back, and slices off one of its fins. He then proceeds to cook the pieces on a grill. “I’m on the beach in Southern California literally eating baby dolphin,” he says in the video.
The MMPA makes it illegal to take a marine mammal from the water or the beach without a permit and violations carry civil penalties such as criminal fines and a year in prison. “One of the reasons that we ask people to report strandings of marine mammals is so that we have a chance to examine and learn from them, understand why they died, and what that may mean to the population,” a spokesman for the NOAA said, also citing the dangerous health risks of eating marine mammals.