Tag Archives: Earthjustice

Judge invalidates all permits for fishing by aquarium trade

An Oahu Circuit Court order essentially called a halt Friday to the $2 million commercial aquarium trade in Hawaii until environmental reviews are performed. After seven weeks Circuit Judge Jeff Crabtree finally ruled in line with the Hawaii Supreme Court’s Sept. 6 opinion that existing state-issued commercial collectors’ permits are now illegal and invalid, and ordered the Department of Land and Natural Resources not to issue any new permits until collectors perform environmental reviews. click here to read the story 14:49

Trump administration urged to avoid salmon protection rules

A group that represents farmers is calling the costs of saving imperiled salmon in the largest river system in the Pacific Northwest unsustainable and is turning to the Trump administration to sidestep endangered species laws. The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association wants the government to convene a Cabinet-level committee with the power to allow exemptions to the Endangered Species Act. The irrigators association is frustrated with court rulings it says favor fish over people, claiming the committee could end years of legal challenges over U.S. dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers and bring stability for irrigators, power generators and other businesses that rely on the water. click here to read the story 18:12

Advancing fishing rule aims to protect deep-sea coral in New England waters

Fishing trawlers bring in an average of $6.4 million annually to Bay State ports from fish scooped off seabeds 600 meters or more below the surface of New England waters. In an effort to save coral on the ocean floor, the New England Fisheries Management Council is advancing a proposed restriction on draggers and trawlers fishing at those depths. The council’s Habitat Committee signed off Tuesday on the proposal, which affect fishing operations in a roughly 25,000 square mile area. If it is passed by the full council it would need to go through the National Marine Fisheries Service, also known as NOAA Fisheries, before it would go into effect. Environmental groups Wild Oceans, Earthjustice, Pew Charitable Trusts and Conservation Law Foundation urged the council’s scientists to study an alternative proposal, which they said would protect more coral than the plan the council advanced. The council agreed to study the conservation groups’ proposal. click here to read the story 16:30

Marine National Monument Pushback: The Fight Over Papahanaumokuakea Just Escalated

Government officials from the United States and three of its territories are working to undermine President Barack Obama’s marine conservation legacy less than four months after he left office. Obama used his executive authority in August to dramatically expand protected areas in the Pacific, the largest being the four-fold expansion last summer of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, which now covers 583,000 square miles in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. But with the Trump administration taking over in January, commercial fishermen and others who vehemently opposed the expansion of that monument and other marine preserves have renewed the fight.,, Leaders of the eight councils followed up with a March 1 letter to Trump explaining why they thought it was bad policy to keep American fishing vessels out of the monuments, saying it has “disrupted” the councils’ ability to manage the fisheries and eliminated the vessels’ ability to act as “watchdogs” over U.S. fishing grounds threatened by foreign fleets. click to continue reading the story here 08:17

Trump policies could mean big boon for Hawaii’s commercial fishermen and the enviro’s are upset!

The debate over fishing regulations at the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is heating up again. The council that helps outline rules for fishing in the federally protected area says it wants to work with the Trump Administration to ease restrictions there, making it easy for Hawaii’s commercial fishermen to work in waters around the monument. Environmental groups are demanding protections remain in place. Some are even calling for an investigation.  The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council – known as Wespac – is meeting at the Ala Moana Hotel through Thursday. At the same venue as the Wespac meeting, a coalition of environmentalists and conservationist came together on Tuesday to challenge the council’s position. Watch the video, read the story here 08:46

Oceana bites back at proposed rule for US dusky shark conservation

angry enviroU.S. President Barack Obama and his administration have released a proposal addressing the chronic overfishing of dusky sharks in U.S. waters. But suggested rule comes up short on its objective, according to marine conservation group Oceana. Oceana, which sued the federal government in 2015 in a challenge to its policies on dusky sharks,  has deemed the proposed rule as “grossly inadequate,” and charged that that the National Marine Fisheries Service fails to offer measurable means to stop dusky shark decline and facilitate the species’ recovery. Over the past two decades, dusky shark populations across the Atlantic and Gulf coasts have dropped by 65 percent as a result of bycatch and overfishing, said Oceana. Because the species is slow to grow and reproduces at low rates, recent studies suggest that the population would need between 70 and 180 years to recover. Read the story here 12:06

Pacific Bluefin Tuna Heads Toward Protection

pacific bluefin tunaThirteen conservation groups and a former National Fisheries biologist petitioned for federal protection for Pacific bluefin tuna, and the marine agency agreed listing may be warranted. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced Tuesday that it will begin a 12-month status review of the iconic fish as the first step in the long process to secure Endangered Species Act protection for the overfished species.  The Center for Biological Diversity, a frequent petitioner and litigator on behalf of imperiled species, was joined by Earthjustice, Defenders of Wildlife, WildEarth Guardians, Sierra Club, Turtle Island Restoration Network, the Ocean Foundation, Center for Food Safety, Greenpeace, Mission Blue, Recirculating Farms Coalition, The Safina Center, SandyHook SeaLife Foundation, and Jim Chambers, a retired NMFS biologist, owner of Prime Seafood sustainable seafood restaurant supply company and member of the Seafood Choices Alliance. Read the rest here 08:42

Search for a Scapegoat: Offshore Trawler Bycatch Suspected in Disappearance of Shad

shadMid-Atlantic fisheries regulators are weighing whether to take additional steps to protect American shad and river herring as they migrate along the East Coast, as some new research suggests significant numbers of herring may be accidentally netted by offshore trawlers. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is scheduled to receive a staff-written white paper this month reviewing whether to move toward imposing tighter limits on the amount of shad and river herring that could be caught by offshore fleets pursuing another species, Atlantic mackerel. The council, which regulates commercial fishing within federal waters from New York to North Carolina, plans to make a decision at its October meeting. “We’ve got industrial-scale fishing vessels targeting mackerel and Atlantic herring in the southern New England area, and we barely have any observer coverage on those vessels,” complains Roger Fleming, a lawyer with Earthjustice. “Some of those vessels can hold up to 1 million pounds of fish. . . . They can virtually wipe out a river herring stock in one tow [of the net].” Read the story here 12:20

White House, Greens target Atlantic fishing grounds

Fishermen and seafood-dependent communities in New England are battening down the hatches, fearing that an Obama administration move to create a giant Atlantic Marine Monument will spell the end to their way of life. Led by Earthjustice, the Conservation Law Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Geographic Society, and the Pew Charitable Trust, environmentalists are urging the White House to use the 1906 Antiquities Act to designate a 6,000-square-mile area in the  and off the coast of Massachusetts as a National Monument. Read the rest here 09:25

Earthjustice files Oceana Lawsuit Against Federal Government to Save Dusky Sharks in Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic

earthjustice $upereco-manIn the lawsuit filed today, Oceana claims the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the primary law governing federal fisheries, by failing to end the overfishing of dusky sharks. Oceana also claims the federal government failed to establish an annual catch limit and measures to enforce such a limit as well as failed to revise dusky shark management measures once it became apparent that the current measures were not rebuilding the population to healthy levels, as required by law. Read the rest here 17:54

Activists, NMFS face off in federal court over ahi quotas “This is allowing them to fish without limits,” ??

Honolulu-Fish-Auction-Bluefin-TunaEnvironmentalists on Friday asked a federal judge to stop the National Marine Fisheries Service from allowing Hawaii-based fishermen to attribute some of the bigeye tuna they catch to U.S. territories. They argue the agency is enabling the fishermen to circumvent international agreements aimed at controlling the overfishing of the popular tuna species known as ahi. Earthjustice attorney David Henkin told U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi the fisheries service acted illegally when it created a framework allowing Hawaii longline fishermen to record some of their catch as having been caught by fishermen in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa. Read the rest here 17:26

Hawaii’s longline fleet dodges hurricanes – Can they survive the Enviro Tsunami?

Bigeye tuna caught by Hawaii’s longline industry is in short supply right now as the fleet dodges Hurricane Ignacio and Hurricane Jimena. Some longline vessels that headed out, turned around without catching anything to avoid the powerful storms. In August, Hawaii’s longline fleet hit the bigeye tuna catch limit of 3,502 metric tons established by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.  Conservation groups, however, have filed a lawsuit to block the change,,, Video, Read the rest here 08:23

Sue and Settle Enviro Groups Go To Court to Protect Blueback Herring from Extinction

Washington, D.C. — Earthjustice, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and a coalition of fishing and watershed protection groups, Anglers Conservation Network,  Great Egg Harbor River Council and Watershed Association, Delaware River Shad Fishermen’s Association,  filed a complaint today in federal court seeking to reverse a decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) not to list the blueback herring as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Read the rest here 13:41

Etched in Stone – Oceana and Greenpeace think Best Available Science circa 1990 shouldn’t change! Stellar Sea Lion

Hundreds of endangered Steller sea lions may die from loss of prey and habitat if the federal government allows more industrial fishing in the Aleutian Islands, environmentalists claim in court. Moreover, the groups say, the biological opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service in April 2014 was condemned by many of its own scientists as “fundamentally flawed” because it relied on incomplete and inadequate Steller sea lion telemetry and sighting data. Read the rest here 10:13

Expert says claims that war games will harm thousands of animals are ‘overblown’

earthjustice $upereco-manThat assessment was backed by Brandon Southall, a former fisheries service researcher who researches at the University of California at Santa Cruz. “I think the numbers” citing potential harm presented by the Navy and NMFS “are overestimates,” he said.  “Overall, I think the concerns are being amplified because the conservation groups are interested in getting people’s attention, and they get it by saying these animals are all going to die,” Southall said. Read the rest here 06:03

Time to protect cod habitat

The decline of cod is the result of bad decisions by federal fisheries managers (under pressure from powerful fishing interests?) that encouraged overfishing for decades and failed to protect the habitat cod need to thrive. Read the rest here 07:40

Inslee Pitches New Water Quality Rules; Groups Hear “More of Same”

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gov. Jay Inslee is proposing an update to the state’s water quality rules. On its surface, it sounds like good news for fans of Northwest-caught seafood. But commercial fishermen and four ‘water-keeper’ organizations are saying it’s too little, too late. Read more here 15:58

Judge’s Groundfishing Rulings Bring Mixed Reaction in Maine –

There was mixed reaction today from environmental advocates following a couple of recent decisions by a federal judge regarding New England’s groundfishing industry. Listen, and Read more here 18:17

Then, there’s this obligatory piece from CLF Shyster Peter Shelley, Court Issues Decisions on NOAA’s Fishing Rules here

The Honeymoon is over – corporate enviros breaking with the administration over its energy policy

kevinhearnThe rift — reflected in a letter sent to President Obama by 18 groups including the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund and Earthjustice — signals that the administration is under pressure to confront the fossil fuel industry or risk losing support from a critical part of its political base during an already difficult election year. Read [email protected] 19:58

Environmentalists sue Navy – Earthjustice? Environmentalists??

SAN DIEGO (AP) – Environmental organizations have added the Navy to their lawsuit against the federal government that seeks more measures to protect whales and other marine mammals from the military’s sonar use. Read [email protected]  21:11

Recreational Fishermen Hire Earthjustice to Sue National Marine Fisheries Service to Protect River Herring and Shad from Industrial Trawlers

 Recreational fishing groups have filed a lawsuit in the D.C. District Court challenging a decision by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to terminate a plan to protect river herring and shad in the Atlantic Ocean. [email protected] 10:33

Conservation and commercial fishing groups sue EPA over fish consumption in Wash.

vladimir_non-profit-1-copySEATTLE (AP) — A fight over how much fish people eat in Washington — and thus, how much toxic pollution they consume — is now in federal court. [email protected] 22:50

Catch Limits Increased in Atlantic Herring Fishery

nmfs_logoNOAA Fisheries NMFS today announced that we are  it is increasing the catch limits for Atlantic herring fishery, due to the healthy condition of the Atlantic herring stock, [email protected]  22:09

Fishermen Defend Increased Trinity River Flows to Protect Salmon

The  Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA) represented by Earthjustice, filed intervention papers late Friday defending the planned release of Trinity River water to keep salmon alive in drought conditions. The groups will file a full brief with the court on August 13th. [email protected]

savingseafood.org: Inaccuracies Abound in Joint Press Release from the Conservation Law Foundation & Earthjustice

vladimir_non-profit-1-copyThe press release misstates important facts about groundfish, starting with a quote from CLF’s Senior Counsel, Peter Shelley: “cod are in the worst condition ever in the history of New England fishing and probably getting worse.” But, while both Georges Bank and Gulf of Maine cod stocks are certainly in the middle of a rebuilding process, neither faces historic low’s.     [email protected]

The Green Goon Squad Strikes AGAIN! – NOAA sued again, this time by environmentalists

sct logoNEW BEDFORD — For the second time this week, NOAA has been sued — this time twice — by two environmental groups “Managers should be acting conservatively to steward the remaining fish and the places they have retreated to, not making them more available to the fishing fleet. “Opening up protected areas will not magically create new fish.”  Seafood consultant James Kendall of New Bedford, a former member of the council, said Friday, “I think they’re full of it.”  (oh yes they are, Jim, lawsuits based on random notions!) continued

Conservation Law Foundation and Earthjustice file lawsuits in federal district court challenging NMFS

Suits challenge plans to open no-fishing zones and to boost catch limits.  Attorneys from Conservation Law Foundation and Earthjustice filed a pair of lawsuits today in the federal district court challenging recent decisions by the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding New England groundfish. continued

National Marine Fisheries Service seeks to protect parrotfish, reefs in USVI – does not affect Earthjustice Endangered Species Act lawsuit

Andrea Treece, an attorney with San Francisco-based Earthjustice, said she was  pleased with the proposal. But she said it does not affect a lawsuit the  organization filed in January 2012 against the National Marine Fisheries  Service, alleging that federal regulators violated the Endangered Species Act by  allowing the harvesting of parrotfish at high rates. Earthjustice is representing environmental groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity. continue

Fish council eyes lifting of closures- Conservation Law Foundation,Earthjustice, Nature Conservancy Will Sue

Fishery council member David Goethel, a Hampton, N.H., groundfisherman, said mortality closures have had enough time — 16 years — to prove themselves a wellspring for the stocks.

“We should be overflowing with groundfish; instead we have a disaster,” said Goethel, who said the closed areas should be opened.

http://www.gloucestertimes.com/topstories/x1684126854/Fish-council-eyes-lifting-of-closures