Tag Archives: lawsuit

Charged with illegal fishing, Mi’kmaw man seeks to redefine Supreme Court’s Marshall decision

Exactly 18 years after the Supreme Court of Canada issued a clarification of its ruling on Indigenous peoples’ right to fish, a Mi’kmaw fisherman from New Brunswick’s lawsuit against the Crown will be in court  — hoping to clear it up again. Legal counsel for Joseph Hubert Francis of Elispogtog First Nation in New Brunswick will appear in Halifax Federal Court Friday for the first part of the lawsuit filed in March of this year. click here to read the story 09:16

Eastport boatbuilder required to auction boat molds

A settlement agreement between the boatbuilding firm Millennium Marine USA and the Washington County government includes auctioning off four boat molds used by the company. The Quoddy Tides (click here)  reported that the county purchased the molds for use by the company, with the help of $524,000 in U.S. Economic Development Agency grant funds. The molds will be auctioned for a minimum price of $15,000. click here to read the story 08:32

New Mississippi rule on oysters not based on science, Vietnamese group says in lawsuit

A lawsuit alleges the state’s ban on basket dredges for harvesting oysters was illegally based on “personal opinion and conjecture” and erodes the livelihood of Vietnamese American fishers. Thao Vu and the Mississippi Coalition for Vietnamese-American Fisher Folks are suing the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources over a ban its Commission on Marine Resources recommended. The ban went in effect Sept. 1. The lawsuit, filed Oct. 16 in Harrison County Chancery Court in Biloxi, is appealing the ban. The DMR went against state seafood laws that say fishery management plans and conservation efforts must be based on “the best scientific information available,” according to the civil complaint. click here to read the story 10:27

Baffin Fisheries Coalition launches $1.4M lawsuit against ex-CEO

The Baffin Fisheries Coalition (BFC) is suing its former CEO Garth Reid for allegedly defrauding the company of $1.4 million. The lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, alleges Reid was building on private land he owned in Winterton, N.L., and invoiced the work to BFC and its subsidiary Niqitaq Fisheries (NFL) — funneling goods and services through a construction company in Quebec. The lawsuit says Reid, who was CEO at the time, claimed the work was for a project in Pond Inlet, Nunavut. He was terminated two weeks ago. click here to read the story  10:57

Environmental groups suing Trump administration for extending red snapper season

Two environmental groups are suing the Trump administration for stretching the red snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico. The federal government said the economic benefit from allowing weekend fishing this summer by recreational anglers in federal waters outweighs the harm to the red snapper species, which is still recovering from disastrous overfishing. Gulf state officials had lobbied for and praised the change, but the lawsuit says the decision violated several laws by ignoring scientific assessments, promoting overfishing, and failing to follow required procedures. It was filed Monday for the Ocean Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Fund. click here to read the story 13:13

Lawsuit seeks to protect whales, turtles from California gillnets

Oceana filed a lawsuit seeking to force U.S. fisheries managers to implement plans for restricting the number of whales and turtles permitted to be inadvertently snared in drift gillnets used for catching swordfish off California’s coast. The proposed rule, endorsed in 2015 by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, would place numerical limits on “bycatch” of whales and other marine creatures, and suspend swordfish gillnet operations if any of the caps are exceeded.  The regulation was expected to gain final approval from the National Marine Fisheries Service. But it was withdrawn last month after the Commerce Department agency determined the cost to the commercial fishing industry outweighed conservation benefits, agency spokesman Michael Milstein said on Thursday. click here to read the story 17:11 Geoff Shester, a senior scientist at Oceana, who was “furious” when he found out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had decided to against adopting the rule. (lmao!) click here to read 17:13

A fisherman’s tale of fighting Uncle Sam

We’re probably going well off the beaten path on this one, but I wanted to draw your attention to a lawsuit which has been percolating in the system since 2015 and may be coming to the Supreme Court later this year. It involves a small volume fisherman who is fighting back against onerous regulations from the Department of Commerce which are threatening to put him (and so many other family operations) out of business. David Goethel is in the fight of his life because new government regulations are costing him more per day than he can generally earn in profit from his fishing operation. Cause of Action Institute (CoAI) is working on this case and provides the details. click here to read the story 11:45

Competitors ask court to undo Pacific Seafood expansion

In the two weeks since Pacific Seafood announced it would consolidate its dominant position on Newport’s Bayfront with the acquisition of two additional fish processing plants, the deal has generated more litigation than fish fillets. On Thursday, two companies who claim Pacific illegally conspired with its competitors to lock them out of the Newport seafood processing business, filed an antitrust lawsuit in federal court to undo the transactions. The lawsuit alleges Pacific, under the leadership of third-generation Chief Executive Officer Frank Dulcich, acquired three properties on Newport’s Yaquina Bay in the past 23 months even though the plaintiffs offered more money. click here to read the story 08:17

Crab fishing organization says State of California commission unfairly changed policy on crabbing season

A crabbing association is suing the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and California Fish and Game Commission, alleging violation of federal law. Tri-State Crab Producers Association filed a complaint on April 5 in the San Francisco County Superior Court against the defendants alleging that they attempted to alter and delay the beginning of the crabbing season. According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that it suffered damages due to the changes in the departments’ policies regarding crabbing season.  Click here to read the story 09:40

Lafourche fisherman sues BP, alleging injuries from oil spill cleanup

A man from Cut Off is suing BP, alleging he has suffered severe injuries since he was exposed to crude oil and dispersants while working in oil spill cleanup after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion. Levy Brunet Jr. filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. He names BP PLC, BP Exploration and Production and BP America Production Co. as defendants. According to the lawsuit, the defendants chartered Brunet’s commercial fishing and shrimping boat in May 2010 for the Vessel of Opportunity Program to help with cleanup from Deepwater Horizon. The plaintiff worked in the program until October 2010.,, Brunet alleges he was exposed to “massive quantities of crude oil, crude oil vapors, dispersants that were being injected into the well site and/or sprayed onto the surface of the water, other gasses or chemicals being released by the uncontrolled well release, as well as fumes from the burning of all these materials, which caused the release of noxious fumes and/or particles.” click here to read the story 09:52

American Samoa wins suit against NMFS over Large Vessel Prohibited Area rule change

American Samoa has won its lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service over the Large Vessel Prohibited Area  rule change. Hawaii Federal District Court Judge, Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi issued her ruling in the Territory of American Samoa’s case against NOAA ruling in favor of the Territory and vacating and setting aside NOAA rule 81 Fed. Reg.  5619 (Feb. 3, 2016) which shrunk the Large Vessel Prohibited Area (LVPA) from 50 to 12 miles. This  allowed long-line vessels larger than 50 feet in length to fish closer to the islands. The Court reached this decision after concluding that NOAA failed to consider the Deeds of Cession. Specifically the Court ruled that, “the Deeds of Cession require the United States to preserve American Samoan cultural fishing practices and that the deeds constitute “any other applicable law” for purposes of the [Magnusson Stevens Act].” continue reading the story here 11:10

Lawsuit over fisheries observers to reach Court of Appeals in March

A New England fishermen’s group suing the federal government over the cost of at-sea monitoring is scheduled to present oral arguments before the federal Court of Appeals in March. The government shifted the cost of paying for monitors to fishermen last year. A group led by New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel sued the government over the rule change. The fishermen lost in federal district court and appealed. Attorneys say the arguments are set to take place March 7. Monitors can cost hundreds of dollars per day. Fishermen argue it represents an illegal new cost burden they can’t shoulder in an era of tight quotas. The rules apply to fishermen of species such as cod and sole. link 11:16

Bay-Delta Water Case Against EPA Advances

A federal judge refused  Tuesday to dismiss allegations that the Environmental Protection Agency shirked its duty to review temporary changes California made to its water-quality standards during the drought, an action that environmentalists say shrank the state’s salmon and steelhead fish populations. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar denied a motion by the EPA to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it last year by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Bay Institute and Defenders of Wildlife. Tigar said their claims are not moot and that they plausibly alleged that the EPA was required under the Clean Water Act to review the changes to more than two dozen water quality standards to protect fish and wildlife in the Bay-Delta Estuary. Read the story here 13:42

Lawsuit: Investment in Bahamian crab company nets $200,000 from Tampa businessmen

Brett Ory visited the Bahamas in May 2015 to see the crabbing company in which he and his father, Ronnie Ory, had invested $100,000. Brett Ory, 38, said he inspected a processing facility, fishing and stone crab trapping boats and 45 acres of prime property on the Bahamas Long Island, all supposedly controlled by Ruskin-based High Cotton Bahamas. A month later, Ory said he wired an additional $100,000 to High Cotton after its representatives told him they needed capital to buy more boats. But it turned out that High Cotton was something of an illusion, according to lawsuits filed by the Orys. Read the story here 18:52

Scallop & Fishing Industry, Municipalities, Sue Feds to Ensure Seafood Interests Are Considered in NY Bight Wind Energy Project

new-york-wind-energy-area-boem-webThe Fisheries Survival Fund (FSF), which represents the majority of the limited access Atlantic scallop fleet, is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction to delay an anticipated lease sale for the development of a 26-mile long wind farm project approximately 11 miles off the coast of Long Island, scheduled for December 15, 2016. The story was broken today by the Associated Press.,, The filing alleges that the leasing process for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) did not adequately consider the impact the proposed New York Wind Energy Area would have on the region’s fishermen. The site chosen for the 127 square mile wind farm is in the waters of the New York Bight on vital, documented scallop and squid fishing grounds,,,The lawsuit argues that fishermen’s concerns regarding the location of the lease area received “virtually no attention or analysis” from government officials ahead of the planned December 15 lease sale, despite fishing stakeholders repeatedly making their concerns known. Read the story here 11:40

Crescent City Harbor District sues fishing vessel owner

scales_of_justice_2The Crescent City Harbor District has filed a lawsuit against the owner of a fishing vessel, alleging that he owes more than $8,747.48 in unpaid berthing fees and late fees.  The district filed a complaint on Nov. 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against John F. Marques and his fishing vessel, F/V Chelsea.  The F/V Chelsea is a 47-year-old fiberglass commercial fishing vessel measuring 40-feet in length and whose hailing port is Crescent City. The Chelsea was still at the harbor when the complaint was filed.  Marques entered into a berthing and rental agreement with the Harbor in October 2009. A second agreement was signed in November 2011 and a third agreement reached in February 2014. Marques began falling behind on his berthing fees in summer 2013, according to the complaint.  Read the rest here 10:21

Millennium Marine lawsuit claims lost sales

ar-161139998-jpgmaxw624maxh400Millennium Marine, the boatbuilding company in Eastport, is seeking $226,662 in damages and also claims to have suffered losses of $430,000 because of defaults by the city and county, including business interruption and lost sales caused by delays in repairs following a 2014 fire at its building, The Quoddy Tides reported. Disputes between the company and the city began earlier this year over disagreements around the company’s rent payments. The company’s attorney, Joseph Baldacci of Bangor, told the newspaper that the attorneys for the city and county have received the lawsuit. But city attorney Dennis Mahar said the case had not been filed in Washington County Superior Court and the city had not been served with the complaint. Read the rest here 19:20

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

Salmon advocate and biologist Alexandra Morton Sues DFO for Allegedly Failing to Protect Wild Salmon

xalexandra-morton-300px-jpg-pagespeed-ic-6ppxy9dtteSalmon advocate and biologist Alexandra Morton is suing the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, alleging the DFO is putting wild salmon at risk by failing to inspect hatchery fish for a known virus prior to transferring them to fish farms. Morton’s lawsuit charges the department with breaking fisheries regulations that say the minister can only issue a licence allowing fish farmers to transfer fish if they “do not have any disease or disease agent that may be harmful to the protection and conservation of fish.” Regulations also require the minister to ensure the transfer won’t have an “adverse effect” on other fish stocks. Morton won a similar legal case in 2015, after suing the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Marine Harvest for transferring Atlantic salmon infected with piscine reovirus into its ocean feedlot operations. The virus is associated with Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI), a contagious and often fatal disease that has hit Norwegian and Chilean fish farms. Read the rest here 11:12

North Carolina Counties and fishermen’s associations file lawsuit over flounder supplement

north_carolina_flagSeveral coastal counties have joined with commercial fishermen in litigation against the State of North Carolina regarding last year’s decision by the Marine Fisheries Commission to adopt new regulations on the southern flounder fishery by using the “Supplement” process. The complaint was filed on Sept. 23 in Carteret County Superior Civil Court in Beaufort. The plaintiffs include NCFA Inc., the Carteret County Fisherman’s Association Inc., Carteret County, Dare County and Hyde County. Defendants served with the complaint are the secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, the director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries and all members of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission. The practical effect of the litigation is to stop the closure of the recreational and commercial southern flounder fisheries, scheduled to take effect this fall. Read the story here 08:53

Pacific Seafoods faces new lawsuit alleging anti-competitive behavior

Pacific SeafoodsOregon-based Seawater Seafoods has sued its larger rival Pacific Seafoods in federal court bringing allegations of anticompetitive behavior and claims that Pacific is blocking Seawater’s waterfront access. Seawater is a Dungeness crab processor that recently expanded into squid and albacore and intends to add coldwater shrimp and trawl-caught groundfish to its business. The Newport, Oregon-based firm is bordered on both sides by Pacific and accuses the company of several behaviors it describes as anti-competitive. “Throughout the 2014-15 crab season defendants relentlessly harassed plaintiffs, intimidated Seawater’s suppliers, obstructed its access to public waterways, allowed its property to be damaged by wild animals and noxious chemicals, and generally acted in a manner calculated to snuff out plaintiffs’ competing business,” the complaint states. Read the rest here  14:36

Fishermen’s Lawsuit Revived for Abalone Protection

This lawsuit is about Eco-Based Management in the purest sense. Overruling a trial court, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals [Tuesday] reinstated plflawsuit to protect abalone and other shellfish resources — and the industries dependent on them — from being ravaged by sea otters in the waters off the Southern California coast. The lawsuit — California Sea Urchin Commission, et al. v. Jacobson, et. al.targets the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for illegally eliminating a “sea otter management zone” (i.e., a zone of protection for shellfish off the Southern California coast) which Congress established under a 1986 statute. PLF attorneys represent fishermen, a California state commission, and several nonprofit organizations with a direct interest in maintaining healthy populations of shellfish. In challenging the Service’s violation of its legal mandate to contain the sea otter population, PLF attorneys represent: The California Sea Urchin Commission, California Abalone Association, California Lobster and Trap Fishermen’s Association, Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara. Read the rest here 20:35

Lawsuit Challenges FDA’s Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon

ExaminerApr272013GMSalmon_largeA coalition of environmental, consumer, and commercial and recreational fishing organizations has sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approving the first-ever genetically engineered (GE) food animal, an Atlantic salmon engineered to grow quickly. “FDA’s decision is as unlawful as it is irresponsible,” said George Kimbrell, senior attorney for Center for Food Safety and co-counsel for the plaintiffs. “This case is about protecting our fisheries and ocean ecosystems from the foreseeable harms of the first-ever GE fish, harms FDA refused to even consider, let alone prevent. But it’s also about the future of our food: FDA should not, and cannot, responsibly regulate this GE animal, nor any future GE animals, by treating them as drugs under a 1938 law.” Read the article, Click here 17:15

Center for Food Safety lawsuit challenge’s NOAA’s push for aquaculture in offshore U.S. waters

Center for Food Safety has filed a new lawsuit challenging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) new federal regulations permitting, for the first time, industrial aquaculture offshore in U.S. federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. The plaintiff coalition CFS is representing in the case make up a broad array of significant interests in the Gulf of Mexico, including commercial, economic, recreational, and conservation groups. Read the rest here 09:09

Moving Forward: Fishermen await trial on NOAA monitors mandate

AR-160209902.jpg&MaxW=315&MaxH=315Local fisherman David Goethel said he hopes a court ruling comes soon to determine the legality of a new federal mandate, as he and other fishermen are fearful they will go under before the trial begins. Goethel said he may sell his fishing boat after this summer if the trial isn’t resolved by then. He filed the lawsuit causing the trial, challenging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s plan to make fishermen pay for their own policing. He filed it in conjunction with a fishing sector based in Massachusetts. While Goethel said he might personally consider retirement this year, he still feels strongly about going forward with the trial to prevent a new precedent for the fishing industry. Read the article here 10:48

Cod and costs: Lawsuit says groundfishing industry will collapse under cost of new federal mandate

TJI_groundfishing-cod_121715-450x166Maine fishermen would be among those hardest hit by a new federal mandate that requires groundfishing boat captains to pay for at-sea monitors, critics say. The at-sea monitors are federally mandated enforcement contractors who can cost upwards of $700 a day, according to litigants in a new lawsuit against the federal government. In Maine, Portland is a major port for ground fishermen, but more remote places such as Cundy’s Harbor out of Harpswell would be affected as well, said New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel, plaintiff in the new case against the U.S. Department of Commerce. Read the article here 17:11

East Coast Fishermen File Lawsuit Over At-Sea Monitoring Mandate

WASHINGTON – Today, Cause of Action is announcing that its clients, David Goethel, owner and operator of F/V Ellen Diane, a 44-foot fishing trawler based in Hampton, N.H., and Northeast Fishery Sector 13, a nonprofit entity representing fishermen from Massachusetts to North Carolina, are suing the U.S. Department of Commerce over a program that would devastate the fishing industry along much of the eastern seaboard. Read the Press Release here 09:52

New Bedford fishing tycoon Carlos Rafael fighting move to dismiss lawsuit

After Labor Day, as the weather cools off, a lawsuit against the state filed by local fishing industry tycoon Carlos Rafael will begin heating up in Bristol Superior Court, his attorney predicts. Rafael retained attorney John Markey Jr. to sue the Division of Marine Fisheries in December over the agency head’s decision to cap the monetary award Rafael is entitled to in the disaster relief program created by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Congress early in 2014. A motion to dismiss the suit was filed by the state on Monday; Markey said he will oppose it. Read the rest here 08:23

Newport Fishermen’s Wives lawsuit against the Coast Guard – Judge hears arguments

Whether a federal judge agrees to toss the Newport Fishermen’s Wives lawsuit against the Coast Guard seeking to keep the Newport helicopter air station open won’t be known for several days. The Fishermen’s Wives filed the lawsuit last November after the Coast Guard announced on Oct. 2, 2014 that it planned to close its Newport air station and fly central coast helicopter search and rescue missions from bases in North Bend and Astoria.  Read the rest here 10:42

Pacific Seafood Group calls off acquisition of Ocean Gold Seafoods – Fishermen press forward with the lawsuit

Pacific Seafood Group announced Tuesday it has canceled plans to acquire Ocean Gold Seafoods, citing a legal challenge from commercial fishermen who allege the purchase would expand Pacific Seafood’s monopoly power over the groundfish, whiting and coldwater shrimp markets. A federal judge granted the fishermen a temporary restraining order to block the acquisition of the Westport, Wash., fish processing plant and scheduled a hearing for early February. Read the rest here 19:50