Tag Archives: Conservation Law Foundation

Lawsuit Challenges Trump OK of Commercial Fishing in Atlantic Marine Monument

The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C. by the Conservation Law Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity and Zack Klyver, lead naturalist with the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company in Maine. “Trump’s order was illegal because he can’t just declare commercial fishing is allowed in a protected marine monument,” said Kristen Monsell, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Seamounts monument was created to permanently safeguard this amazing ecosystem and vulnerable species like the endangered sperm whale. Presidents can’t be allowed to gut protections by decree as a favor to commercial fishermen.”  >click to read< 11:40

North Atlantic Right whale trouble: Lawsuit on protections could last for months

Environmental groups sued the U.S. government with a claim that regulators’ failure to protect the North Atlantic right whale from harm was a violation of the Endangered Species Act, and U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled April 9 that they were right. The government, environmentalists and industry members who are involved in the lawsuit must still return to court to determine a remedy. Boasberg ruled that the risk posed to the whales by the lobster fishery was too great to be sustainable, and that a remedy could ultimately result in new restrictions on lobster fishing. Members of the industry, including the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, have vowed to fight to protect the fishery. >click to read< 11:27

North Atlantic Right Whale: How to kill a species with Fake News, from National Geographic of all places!

“Fishing without vertical lines is what is going to save this species.“ says CT Harry of the IFAW who work hand in hand with NOAA. A ridiculous statement in view of the 18 cruise ship strikes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (GSL) in the past few years, in all of NE over 20 years. ¼ whale per year by the lobster industry. Eighteen ship strikes in the GSL over the past 3 years averages 6 per year. These people are killing 24 whales while those people kill one. by Jim O’Connell  >click to read< 13:22

Most likely Carnival Cruise Lines is responsible for 18+ Right Whale deaths in the past 3 year, at which rate they would soon be extinct. – Human caused Right whale deaths have suddenly, in sync with a plummeting whale birthrate, put the right whale on the path to extinction. Why their birth rate, births per year, declined since a tremendous surge in 2000-2009 from 350 to 500 is unknown. In 2018 it hit bottom as no calves were born.  >click to read<

If the info comes from some enviro group, its good! Info from the lobster fishermen? Not good!

We’re out fishing for news as always, and we never know what we’ll find. Saw this letter to the editor: Whales, and realized this letter is a by-product of the enviro group anti-fishing campaign.,,, From the letter, In the editorial you say, “According to the Maine Lobstermen’s Association analysis of data …” Seriously? We are going to rely on their analysis to risk the extinction of a highly evolved mammal? The editorial further reads, “Only 8 percent (of right whale deaths) resulted from entanglement in trap or pot fishing gear,,, >click to read< 11:34

The Conservation Law Foundation petition’s NOAA to prohibit Atlantic cod fishing

The petition, filed with NOAA regional offices in Gloucester and with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in Washington, invokes the first article of the Magnuson Stevens Act, the law governing federal fisheries, which stipulates that overfishing must end immediately and that the fish stock be rebuilt as quickly as possible. (MMPA has wrecked that!) “There’s a fairly damning record of the agency (NOAA Fisheries, also known as the National Marine Fisheries Service) approving (New England Fishery Management) Council plans it should have known were not likely to end overfishing, and were not likely to put cod stocks on any rebuilding timeline,” said Peter Shelley, (who supports him) senior counsel for the foundation.  >click to read< The image is cod, destroyed and wasted by seals, 08:35

“This is our line in the sand,”: Facing new threats, lobstermen take hard line against right whale protections

“My administration will not allow any bureaucrat to undermine our lobster industry or our economy with foolish, unsupported, and ill-advised regulations,” Governor Janet Mills told a crowd of cheering lobstermen at a protest this summer at a protest this summer in Stonington. The backlash started shortly after a government-appointed team of scientists, fishermen, and others urged the agency to require lobstermen to reduce their buoy lines, among other measures.,, But with increasingly vocal protests across Maine’s rugged coast from rank-and-file lobstermen, the state’s leaders — including their entire congressional delegation,,,  >click to read< 12:17

Federal appeals court upholds Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

Fishing groups sued over the creation of Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, a 5,000-square-mile area that contains fragile deep sea corals and vulnerable species of marine life. The monument was established in 2016.,,, Attorney Jonathan Wood, who represents the fishing groups, said previously that the matter deserves to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court but that he would need to consult with his clients before making a final decision. >click to read< 15:03

Maine Lobstermen Skeptical Of Proposal To Tie ‘Whale-Safe’ Seafood Label To Use Of New Fishing Gear. They should be.

A movement is emerging among conservation groups to create a “whale-safe” seal of approval for lobster caught with new types of gear designed to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales. But it could be a tough sell in Maine, where some say the iconic fishery is already sustainable.,, “That’s really important, that fishermen willing to test this gear, and certainly those fishermen fishing with ropeless gear should be rewarded,” says Erica Fuller, a lawyer at the Conservation Law Foundation, one of several organizations suing the federal government for stronger protections of the roughly 400 North Atlantic right whales remaining on the planet. >click to read< 10:36

CLF says nothing short of an end to directed fishing – Another cut in cod fishing not enough for environmentalists

Fishing regulators are proposing another cutback to the catch limits for Atlantic cod, but some environmentalists say the move isn’t significant enough to slow the loss of the species. Atlantic cod fishing was once one of the biggest marine industries in New England, but the fishery has deteriorated after years of overfishing and environmental changes. Fishermen caught less than 2 million pounds of the fish in 2017, decades after routinely catching more than 100 million pounds annually in the early 1980s. It was the worst year for the fishery in its history. >click to read< 10:31

Offshore Wind Awaits Federal Environmental Reports

The latest industry initiative is the expansion of a cable factory in Charleston, S.C., where Paris-based Nexans plans to make some 620 miles of high-voltage power lines for the five wind projects under development by the utility Eversource and Danish energy company Ørsted. The companies declined to say how the five-year contract was granted. Nexans is also building a new cable-laying vessel with a 10,000-ton capacity.,,, The report was quickly criticized by representatives from the squid and scallop industry who said the 1-mile spacing between the turbines doesn’t improve safety and the layout restricts fishing. “This is the biggest screwup to hit our oceans ever,” said Dellinger, who is chairman of the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Advisory Board. >click to read< 16:58

D.C. court rules fisheries remain closed to help right whales

Thursday, a federal district judge ruled two lobster fisheries can remain closed to protect the lives of right whales moving through the area. The case began nearly two years ago as a set of environmental groups Center for Biological Diversity, Conservation Law Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife and the Humane Society of the United States filed a complaint against the federal government because they disputed the finding of “no jeopardy” to right whales in the lobster fisheries, despite the finding that an average of 3.25 right whales a year would die through gillnet fishing operations. >click to read< 10:31

Federal Judge Restores Ban on Fishing Net That Entangles Whale Species

Environmentalists hoping to save the North Atlantic right whale won a federal injunction Monday banning walls of fishing net that entangle the species that has been on the brink of extinction since the 1970s. ,,  The decision by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg speared changes made by the National Marine Fisheries Service earlier this year to rules governing New England’s fisheries.  >click to read<  12:30

Gloucester: Lobstermen push against whale rules – ‘We’ve borne the brunt’

The evening began with a presentation from NOAA Fisheries’ Mike Asaro and Colleen Coogan that offered a historical backdrop on the status of the North Atlantic right whale stock and an explanation of the specific protectionist measures adopted in April by the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team.,, In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, lobstermen are tasked with reducing their vertical lines by 30 percent. In Maine, where there has been significant pushback by state officials and the nation’s most formidable lobster fleet, the target is significantly higher — 50 percent. Then came the comment period and the usual choosing of the sides. Photo’s,  >click to read< 22:04

Maine political leaders join lobster haulers to rally against new rules

Gov. Janet Mills and almost all of Maine’s congressional delegation will participate in a rally Sunday protesting new federal regulations aimed at protecting the endangered North Atlantic right whale, but also could cause large-scale disruption in this state’s lobster industry. Maine lobstermen support protecting the whales, whose numbers have dwindled to fewer than 420 during the past decade, but say that the new regulations,,, >click to read< 12:56

Multi-organization effort believes Cashes Ledge deserves to be permanently protected

The team’s efforts of four years ago, including holding roundtables and giving talks across the region, were undertaken in hopes Cashes Ledge would be awarded a monument designation. The effort failed, but it did play a part in the creation, three years ago, of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, the only national monument in the Atlantic Ocean. Lamb, who now works with the Witman Lab and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute on various marine issues, believes Cashes Ledge deserves the same protection, especially since the Gulf of Maine is one of the fastest-warming bodies of salt water in the world.  >click to read<09:37

North Atlantic Right Whale – New restrictions placed on New England fishing industry to protect whales

Fishermen across New England are facing new restrictions after a panel of experts convened by the federal government agreed on Friday to a plan to step up protection of the endangered North Atlantic right whale. The group of federal and state officials, scientists, fishermen and environmental advocates created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration capped a four-day meeting in Providence by reaching consensus on a plan that aims to reduce entanglements in fishing gear, which is the leading cause of injuries to the whale and deaths. >click to read<18:20

New England Stakeholders Agree On Recommendations For Reducing Risk Of Right Whale Entanglements – >click to read<11:16

CLF OVERRULED! New Fishing Rights in Gulf of Maine Upheld by Judge

A federal judge upheld a rule Monday that opens up a portion of the western Gulf of Maine to commercial and recreational fishing for the first time. The Conservation Law Foundation had challenged the rule last year, claiming the National Marine Fisheries Service wrongly prioritized economic considerations over its conservation duty when it reduced the protected area in that portion of the Gulf by about 25%. While the rule offered habitat protection in the eastern Gulf of Maine for the first time, the conservation group said the agency and the New England Regional Council should have closed more of the Gulf to fishing. >click to read<17:28

Fishermen Want More Time to Negotiate Over Wind

Lanny Dellinger, a Newport, R.I.-based lobsterman and chairman of the Fishermen’s Advisory Board, said fishermen are being rushed to accept a compensation offer for the harm they say will be caused by the Vineyard Wind offshore project. “It’s like being pushed into the (real estate) closing without seeing the appraisal,” Dellinger said.
There’s no doubt that the project developer is in a hurry. Vineyard Wind needs approval from the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) soon so that construction can begin on the 84-turbine project and qualify for a federal tax credit. >click to read<10:38

Vineyard Wind, Con Groups Reach Historic Agreement to Protect Right Whales

Vineyard Wind and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, and Conservation Law Foundation today entered into an unprecedented agreement to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. Under the historic agreement, Vineyard Wind will institute a variety of protective measures to keep right whales safe while installing and operating turbines at its proposed 84-turbine project off the coast of Massachusetts. Harnessing offshore wind is a key step in transitioning the nation away from dirty, polluting fossil fuels to a clean energy economy. (Plenty of Fraudsters here!) >click to read<13:55

Commercial Fishermen, Sport fishers Divided on Plans for More Offshore Wind

Commercial fishermen say the wind-energy projects planned for southern New England, such as the South Fork Wind Farm, are the latest threats to their income after decades of quotas and regulations “I don’t like the idea of the ocean being taken away from me after I’ve thrown so many big-dollar fish back in the water for the last 30 years, praying I’d get it back in the end,” said Dave Aripotch, owner of a 75-foot trawl-fishing boat based in Montauk, N.Y. Dave Monti of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association said the submerged turbine foundations at the Block Island Wind Farm created artificial reefs, boosting fish populations and attracting charter boats like his. >click to read<10:07

In Battle Over Whale, Judge Tears Up Agency Stonewalling

A federal judge opened the door Thursday for environmentalists to bolster claims over a lobster fishery they blame for the declining population of an endangered whale. Ordering the National Marine Fisheries Service to produce discovery, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said the Endangered Species Act allows the agency’s challengers to use evidence outside the administrative record. “In order to accurately assess the alleged crisis of these cetaceans, the court will benefit from a record that reflects the actual, ongoing effects of the lobster fishery on the species,” the 16-page ruling says. The cetaceans at issue are called the North Atlantic right whale. There were roughly 455 right whales left as of 2016, and the Conservation Law Foundation says at least 18 of these have been killed since 2017. >click to read<16:28

Booker, Carper, Nelson Introduce Bicameral Bill to Establish Grant Program for Right Whale Conservation

U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Bill Nelson (D-FL), along with Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have introduced a bill to protect the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. Booker is a member of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, Carper is the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Nelson is the top Democrat on the Senate’s Commerce Committee, which oversees ocean policy. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), along with Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Bill Keating (D-MA), has introduced a companion measure in the House of Representatives. >click to read<18:46

The High-Stakes Battle Over Obama’s Atlantic Ocean National Monument

Mining and drilling for oil are already banned in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, established by former president Barack Obama in 2016 as the first marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Within five years, too, all commercial fishing will be phased out – or, at least that was the plan. A federal judge is now weighing the fate of those protections in a lawsuit originally filed in March 2017 by a coalition of New England fishing groups – and it has led to a rare case of President Donald Trump defending his predecessor’s authority.  >click to read<10:27

Marine Monument Case Aligns Trump, Conservationists

Cautiously aligned with the government in support of America’s first marine monument, environmentalists urged a federal judge Monday to sink a challenge by fishing groups. Designated by President Barack Obama in September 2016, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument encompasses 4,913 square miles off the coast of New England. Cordoned off from oil and gas exploration, as well as commercial fishing, the seabed within the monuments boasts four underwater volcanoes and three canyons. The Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Conservation Law Foundation and naturalist Zack Klyver had all intervened in the case,,, >click to read<14:08

New England Enviros Are Protesting A Clean Power Project!

Environmentalists in New England are voicing concern over a proposal that would provide an abundance of clean hydropower, hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue every year. Charlie Baker, the moderate Republican governor of Massachusetts, has worked relentlessly to reduce his state’s carbon footprint and is now looking to Canada for renewable energy sourced from a series of dams.,, If completed, the arrangement would power 1.2 million homes with 1,200 megawatts of low emission hydropower and reduce overall energy costs. >click to read<11:48

Opponents say Block Island wind farm is causing problems across prime fishing grounds

The five enormous turbines that have been generating electricity off Block Island over the past year are considered a model for the future of offshore wind. But the nation’s first ocean-based wind farm also has exposed what fishermen say are serious threats to them caused by scattering massive metal shafts and snaking underwater cables across prime fishing grounds.,,, Wind power companies have dismissed most of their concerns, and fishermen have become increasingly frustrated, saying that they’re being ignored.>click to read<09:38

Low numbers of endangered whales raise question about lobster industry impacts

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientist Mark Baumgartner said that to help the whales survive much longer, the ropes Maine lobstermen use to tend their traps have to be modified or even eliminated. And it’s not just for the whales’ sake. “I feel the industry is in jeopardy,” Baumgartner said.,,, Last month the Conservation Law Foundation’s Portland office filed a federal lawsuit against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for violating the Endangered Species Act. >click to read< 12:10

Lobstermen pack meeting concerning right whales, possible gear changes at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum

Lobstermen from all over the state packed the Rockport Room at the Samoset Resort to overflowing Friday to hear about the potential for ropeless fishing and use of break-away lines to help save the endangered right whale. The panel discussion March 2 at the annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum brought fishermen together with several experts including scientist Mark Baumgartner of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Amy Knowlton of the New England Aquarium and Mike Asaro of NOAA Fisheries. >click to read< 10:06

Conservation Law Foundation files Lawsuit to protect right whales

After a year of major losses for North Atlantic right whales, a local environmental advocacy group filed a federal lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service Thursday, arguing that the agency should do more to protect the critically endangered mammals.  But lawyers at the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston, which filed the suit, argued that the agency should be doing more. “Regulators are not just morally mandated to act . . . they are also legally required to ensure fishing efforts do not cause harm to these animals,” said Emily Green, an attorney at the foundation. >click to read< 20:47

EMF (Electromagnetic Field) Effects and the Precautionary Principle – Nils E. Stolpe/FishNet USA

The following is taken from an OSPAR Commission (https://www.ospar.org/) report from 2008. It clearly shows that at the time when interest in offshore wind turbines was really starting to grow there was very little knowledge of, nor had much significant research been done on, the effects of electromagnetic fields on marine or estuarine species, and what little had been done was on mature organisms, with little or no attention given to immature stages. Background Document on potential problems associated with power cables other than those for oil and gas activities: Conclusions in regard to electromagnetic fields Our current knowledge about effects of electromagnetic fields on the marine environment, in particular fauna, is not sufficient. Only a few preliminary conclusions can be reached. click here to read the article 17:07