Tag Archives: lawsuit

Gulf Coast Seafood Alliance Supports Lawsuit Challenging Unlawful Red Grouper Quotas

Commercial fishermen and members of the Gulf of Mexico seafood industry have filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of a recent decision by NOAA Fisheries to reallocate red grouper quota to recreational fishermen at the expense of the commercial fishery. The Gulf Coast Seafood Alliance supports the efforts by the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance, Southern Offshore Fishing Association, and A.P. Bell Fish Company to challenge this decision, in an effort to restore a fair allocation for commercial fishermen. The lawsuit, filed late on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenges recent red grouper allocations approved by NOAA as part of Amendment 53 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico. >click to read< 16:16

Mid-Water Herring Trawlers to Return to Inshore Waters – Court Overturns Exclusion Zone

Herring fishermen from New England and the Mid-Atlantic won a crucial decision last week when a federal judge in Boston ruled in their favor against an exclusion zone in Northeast U.S. waters. The court ruled that a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) measure excluding the mid-water trawl fleet from productive inshore fishing grounds violated the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the nation’s premier fisheries law. The lawsuit was brought by the Sustainable Fisheries Coalition (SFC), a trade group representing herring and mackerel fishing companies. >click to read< 08:16

Fishermen sue to end industry funded monitoring program

A group of fishing companies in New England is bringing its bid to try to end industry-funded monitoring programs to federal appeals court. The companies are part of the industry that harvests Atlantic herring, which are heavily fished off the East Coast. The federal government requires herring fishing boats to participate in, and pay for, at-sea monitoring programs. >click to read< 13:30

Offshore Wind: Nantucket project faces lawsuit that could impact Skipjack, U.S. Wind projects

Environmentalists are concerned about impact to sea mammals, such as whales and dolphins, The American Coalition for Ocean Protection  has been created by the Caesar Rodney Institute to push back against offshore wind development, and they have joined the Vineyard Wind legal case as technical advisors. The case against Vineyard Wind could set a precedent for legal action to be taken locally, where Orsted and U.S. Wind have already secured OREC approvals to begin offshore wind development. The Vineyard Wind case claims there could be environmental harm to the threatened right whale from the project. A coalition in Cape Cod, Mass. the Nantucket Residents Against Turbines, in August filed a suit that calls for delay in the development of 2,000 wind turbines off Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard. >click to read<  12:31

Kenai Peninsula Municipalities still working to oppose EEZ closure

Peninsula municipalities are still fighting back against the closure of federal waters in Cook Inlet to commercial salmon fishing. The city councils of both Kenai and Homer have agreed to file amicus briefs in a lawsuit brought forth by the United Cook Inlet Drift Association, which has a goal of reopening the waters before the 2022 summer fishing season. Groups across the peninsula, including the cities of Homer and Kenai as well as the Kenai Peninsula Borough, have consistently voiced their opposition to the closure of Cook Inlet’s federal waters to commercial salmon fishing. >click to read< 10:59

Windfarm plans for Atlantic coast hit fishermen hard and threaten US food supply

Tom Williams, a lifelong fisherman whose sons now captain the family’s two boats, doesn’t scare easily—not after the storms, regulations and economic ups and downs he’s weathered. But the wind farms planned for much of the nation’s Atlantic coastline do scare him. His own extended family began fishing in Rhode Island in 1922. “What’s going to be left for my grandchildren?” he asks. “It’s a way of life, and this is the biggest threat we’ve faced.” >click to read< 21:00

Judge dismisses case to ban lobster lines, but opens door to future right whale protections

A federal judge may have delivered the legal roadmap to ban lobstermen from using vertical buoy lines in a long-awaited ruling this week. The case centered around concerns that the lines, authorized by the state of Massachusetts, entangle and kill critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. But Judge Indira Talwani dismissed the case because, she wrote, the plaintiff Max Strahan, a controversial whale advocate, had questionable credibility in some instances and failed to prove that he has a personal stake, or standing, in the case, a critical component of the lawsuit. >click to read< 12:37

Fishing and seafood companies sue over oil spill

Redondo Beach market Quality Seafood is among plaintiffs in a proposed class-action suit against pipeline company Amplify Energy Corp. on behalf of commercial fishing, diving and seafood companies seeking damages for expected lost revenue as a result of last weekend’s massive oil spill. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include LBC Seafood Inc., a family-owned wholesaler that purchases lobsters from fishers in Orange County with sales to wholesalers and distributors who distribute the product throughout California and the world. >click to read< 09:28

Nunavut Inuit suing feds over fishing license allocations to Mi’kmaw company

In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association asked the federal court to quash a decision by Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to transfer the licences for Greenland halibut and shrimp from seafood company Clearwater Foods to the coalition, after the Mi’kmaw group partnered to buy the company in January. Reached by phone on Wednesday, Jordan, through her staff, declined to comment following her loss in Monday’s federal election. The lawsuit describes how Nunavut fishers have only held about 50 per cent of total fishing quotas for all species off Nunavut’s coast, which Inuit argue is disproportionately low compared to the 90 per cent that fisheries in Atlantic provinces have off their own coasts, an acknowledgement the federal government and DFO have made on several occasions.  >click to read< 09:28

Why Offshore Wind Farms Face Lawsuits – The American Coalition for Ocean Protection

Nantucket residents have filed a landmark lawsuit over federal approval of Vineyard Wind, the first industrial scale offshore wind project in the U.S. Federal law protects existing ocean uses: commercial fishing, vessel traffic, the viewshed, and endangered species from new energy projects. Since federal approvals of all offshore wind projects will likely use the same flawed process, a court win for this lawsuit may stop all the projects. Specifically, Ackrats is the group filing the complaint and is concerned about Vineyard Wind’s negative impact on the North Atlantic right whale, “one of the most critically endangered species on the entire planet.” Those Nantucket residents are not alone. Beach communities from North Carolina to Maine and the Great Lakes joined together to form the American Coalition for Ocean Protection. >click to read< 16:13

Fishing group’s lawsuit challenges fed review of offshore wind project

A second group has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the government’s approval of the offshore wind project that is expected to generate cleaner electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts starting in late 2023. A coalition of fishing industry groups called the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on Monday to review the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s approval of the Vineyard Wind I project, arguing that the green light “adds unacceptable risk” to the fishing industry without addressing its long-held concerns. >click to read< 12:18

Waterfront businesses’ lawsuit against New Bedford and Port Authority dismissed

Marine Hydraulics and Nordic Fisheries sued the city in January, alleging it was breaching a 99-year lease contract and misleading the companies regarding the expansion of the North Terminal, located on the west side of the harbor. Nordic Fisheries bought Marine Hydraulics’ assets and lease in 2015 according to court records, but both companies filed the lawsuit. The city filed a motion to dismiss it in March. The businesses stated in their complaint that much of their work depends on immediate access to the water to haul, service and store vessels, and that without direct access, their companies would be irreparably harmed. >click to read< 10:05

This Year’s Dungeness Crab Fishery a Shell of its Former Self

Supreme Court hears case in dispute over fisheries landings tax

Millions of dollars of fish landing taxes are at stake in a lawsuit now being deliberated by the Alaska Supreme Court,,  The court heard oral arguments Oct. 21 in a lawsuit brought against the State of Alaska by Seattle-based Fishermen’s Finest Inc. in which the company argues Alaska’s fishery resource landing tax violates a prohibition on taxes or fees levied against goods on the way to export in the U.S. Constitution. Jim Torgerson, an attorney for Fishermen’s Finest, argued that the fish harvested and processed in federal waters by the company’s catcher-processor vessels have started their journey to foreign markets when it arrives at Alaska ports but before being shipped worldwide.>click to read<11:27

Alaska Supreme Court hears challenge to fish landing tax

Since the 1990s, Alaska has taxed seafood caught by factory trawlers and floating processors through the Fisheries Resource Landing Tax. Even though the fish is caught outside the 3-mile line in what’s considered federal waters, it’s often brought to Alaska fishing ports before loaded on cargo vessels and shipped overseas. But the Washington state company, Fisherman’s Finest, is now challenging the state’s tax in court, arguing it violates a pair of provisions of the U.S. Constitution that restricts coastal states from imposing tariffs or duties on goods brought into and out of a state. >click to read< 17:28

Metlakatla Indian Community suing Gov. Mike Dunleavy and senior state officials over fishing rights

The state’s sole Native reservation says the commercial fishing permit system unfairly prevents local fishermen from harvesting on their traditional fishing grounds, a right Metlakatla says is guaranteed to the tribe by Congress. The tribe of Metlakatla is asking a federal judge to prevent the state from requiring commercial fishing permits for tribal members. The people of Metlakatla have called Annette Island home since the late 19th century. That’s when roughly 820 Tsimshian people migrated with an Anglican missionary from coastal British Columbia to the then-uninhabited islands south of Ketchikan. But they weren’t just after land for a settlement. “The Annette Islands would have been worthless without access to fish and its adjacent fisheries,” attorneys for Metlakatla wrote in a lawsuit filed August 7 in federal court. >click to read< 18:06

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

Judge weighs shutting down Southeast Alaska Chinook fishery

Fishermen in Southeast Alaska could see their season cut short if a federal judge issues an injunction requested by a Washington environmental group to protect the food supply of a subpopulation of orcas. The Wild Fish Conservancy filed a lawsuit against NOAA,,, “We are getting blamed for harvesting their food source, which really isn’t the cause of the problem,” Amy Daughery, executive director of the Alaska Trollers Association said. “The problem as we see it, is the exponential population growth in Seattle, which has lead to a lot of toxicity and pollution and habitat loss in that area. And so these whales are really struggling, this one population. The Northern killer whales that we see off the coast of Southeast Alaska are doing very well. In fact they’ve increased.” >click to read< 10:19

A group threatens a lawsuit over NC shrimping rules

A group pushing for changes to North Carolina’s commercial fishing rules sent formal notice last week that it plans to sue the state and one of the largest shrimping companies on the coast. The N.C. Coastal Fisheries Reform Group said that after “over a decade of unsuccessful attempts to engage in meaningful fisheries management reform dialog” with multiple governors, lawmakers and state officials it was filing a notice of claim under the Federal Clean Water Act. That starts a 60-day clock ahead of a lawsuit. The group said in a news release that, with another shrimping season approaching, time is of the essence. >click to read< 12:00

Destroying a fishery will not save Southern Resident Killer Whales – Scientists say feed starving whales farmed salmon

In less than two weeks, a Seattle-based federal judge will decide the fate of some 1,600 Southeast Alaska salmon trollers—fishermen who are already looking at the lowest allotment of Chinook in 20 years, largely due to the past three Pacific Salmon Treaty agreements that have cut, by two-thirds, their allocation of these high-value, sought-after fish. If you haven’t been following the trade press or Alaska media in the past few weeks, you may not know that this group of largely rural Alaska fishermen are today facing the unthinkable: being put out of business—collateral damage as the result of a lawsuit filed by a Washington state-based NGO, the Wild Fish Conservancy (WFC), against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). In the lawsuit, WFC seeks a Preliminary Injunction to stop the Southeast Alaska summer troll fishery, alleging that NMFS has failed to allow enough king (Chinook) salmon to return to Puget Sound to feed endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales,,, >click to read< 08:16

Feed starving whales farmed salmon, say scientists – “You could use well boats to deliver the farmed fish to where the whales feed.” >click to read<

SE Alaska Chinook controversy attracts more user groups

A controversy over whether NOAA Fisheries is properly managing Chinook salmon stocks in Southeast Alaska, with consideration for a hungry whale population in decline, has been joined by sport and charter fishermen who say Alaska is not the problem. The environmental organization SalmonState, along with the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association and Alaska Trollers Association said on Monday, April 27, that sport and charter harvesters have joined them in support of NOAA Fisheries in a lawsuit brought by Wild Fish Conservancy, of Duvall, Washington. The group characterizes as misguided the decision of WFC to sue NOAA Fisheries in federal court to halt Chinook salmon trolling in Southeast Alaska effective July 1. >click to read< 16:15

Trollers side with NMFS in Chinook litigation – Endangered whales compete with increasing populations of seals, sea lions

Litigation to halt the Southeast Alaska king salmon fishery to provide sustenance for Southern Resident Killer Whales is prompting commercial trollers to intervene in the lawsuit brought by the Washington state based Wild Fish Conservancy. The Alaska Trollers Association in Juneau voted on Tuesday, April 21, to insert itself into the defense of the lawsuit filed in mid-March against the National Marine Fisheries Service and the subsequent injunction against king salmon fishing and the troll fishery specifically. >click to read< 15:41

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

NCLA Sues Commerce, NOAA, NMFS over Its Unlawful New at-Sea Monitor Mandate

The New Civil Liberties Alliance today filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Rhode Island,,, The suit challenges the agencies’ unconstitutional and statutorily unauthorized effort to force fishing companies to pay for a new agency enforcement program. NCLA represents Relentless Inc., Huntress Inc., and their related company, Seafreeze Fleet LLC,,,  The at-sea monitor mandate for the nation’s Atlantic herring fleet violates the U.S. Constitution’s Article I, and the agencies have exceeded the bounds of their statutory authority because Congress never allowed these agencies to create or to require the industry to finance at-sea monitors or an at-sea monitoring program in the Atlantic herring fishery. more >click to read< 15:07

Judge hears arguments on lawsuit against EPA over withdrawn protections for Pebble

Monday U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason heard arguments on whether or not to dismiss a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over its decision to withdraw a proposed determination which had effectively blocked developing the Pebble Mine. Last October, the Bristol Bay Defense Alliance, a coalition of groups representing native tribes in Bristol Bay, commercial fishermen and the seafood industry filed suit against the EPA. Environmental groups then filed two additional lawsuits. The three lawsuits have since been consolidated. >click to read< 08:51

Climate Change Is Sending This Fluke Fight to Court

Disputes over fish quotas are not new, and the $25.2 million East Coast market for fluke—although a reliable bread-and-butter fish—is not particularly lucrative. And New York has sued to alter the quota before. But this lawsuit is being watched closely because it introduces a new factor into the decades-old quota system: the impact of climate change. Quickly warming waters have reshaped the entire fishing industry on the East Coast, moving the fluke dramatically to the north. The lawsuit argues that now 80% of all fluke catches occur within 150 miles of Long Island and that state allocations need to be updated to reflect the fishes’ evolving location. >click to read< 08:17

California: Fewer Whales Entangled As Crab Fishermen Face Financial Struggle

Crab fishers are frustrated by recent closures, and CDFW is working with stakeholders and fishermen to come up with an economic plan that can help fishers deal with the changing industry. “We are seeing that the closures affect smaller operators disproportionately,”,,, Dick Ogg is a commercial fisherman out of Bodega Bay, California. His single-boat company is considered a medium-sized operation in the area because he catches many species. In addition to crabbing, Ogg shifts with the seasons to fish salmon, black cod, and albacore as well. This allows him to have income throughout the year. He humbly calls himself a “newbie”, having only been a commercial fisherman for 21 years. >click to read< 07:05

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Sued Over Steelhead Farming in Puget Sound

Environmental and conservation groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife over the agency’s recent decision to allow Cooke Aquaculture to rear farmed steelhead trout in Puget Sound. The suit, filed in the Superior Court of Washington, alleges that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a permit to allow steelhead fish feedlots, a type of fish-farming practice, to operate in the complex waterways of Puget Sound without any consideration of the consequences they would have on the environment. >click to read< 13:01

Maine Lobstering Union that’s suing its former CEO, hires a new management team

A lobster fishing cooperative that is suing its former CEO in federal court has hired two people to round out its new management team. Lobster 207 LLC, also known as the Maine Lobstering Union, has appointed Carmen Look as its chief financial officer and Brian Hemingway as its director of business development, the organization said Thursday.,,, The cooperative is alleging in a lawsuit that Pettegrow and his parents defrauded and stole from the union after selling it their wholesale lobster business for $4 million in 2017. The lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court in Bangor. >click to read< 12:39

Court: Trump Administration Unlawfully OK’d Longline Fishing Off California

The ruling released late Friday responds to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network after the fishing permit issued in April exempted vessels from the federal ban on longline gear off California. Longlines stretch up to 60 miles, with thousand of baited hooks intended to catch swordfish and tuna.  >click to read< 07:52