Tag Archives: lawsuit

Conservationist intends to sue five states over whale entanglements, including individual lobstermen

A noted North Atlantic right whale conservationist who is suing Massachusetts officials over the licensing of commercial lobster pot gear has said he intends to do the same thing in five other states starting with Maine. The Maine DNR is killing and injuring endangered whales and sea turtles in U.S. coastal waters from its licensing of lobster pot gear, and gill nets, said Richard “Max” Strahan of Whale Safe USA, which is based in Cambridge. >click to read<08:18

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

NOAA, NGOs debate effects of ocean farms on wildlife, Litigation may be deterring investors

Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico have been open to fish farming for two years, but no farms yet exist. In January 2016, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service issued a rule that would let companies apply for 10-year permits to farm fish in federal waters of the Gulf, with five-year renewals thereafter.,, Paul W. Zajicek, executive director of the National Aquaculture Association, suspects companies interested in starting offshore farms are waiting for results of a federal lawsuit against the fisheries service.,, Those behind the lawsuit say NOAA’s fisheries service is trying to regulate aquaculture as fishing but lacks authority to expand into aquaculture. >click to read<21:43

Obama Banned Fishing In 5,000 Square Miles Of Rich Ocean — Fishermen Want It Back

A Washington, D.C., district court lifted a stay Wednesday on a fishing industry lawsuit to reverse a 5,000 square mile marine national monument created off New England’s coast in 2016. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument will ban fishing in an area roughly the size of Connecticut in less than a decade. Seafood and fishing trade groups are suing to rescind the monument former President Barack Obama crafted near the end of his 2nd term, to restore an area of ocean that has been an important source of lobster and fish for decades, according to the lawsuit. >click to read<18:29

Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Failure to Protect Pacific Humpback Whales Threatened by Fishing Gear, Ship Strikes, Oil Spills

The Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network and Wishtoyo Foundation today sued the Trump administration for failing to protect humpback whale habitat in the Pacific Ocean, where the animals face threats from fisheries, ship strikes and oil spills. Today’s lawsuit, filed in federal district court in San Francisco, aims to force the National Marine Fisheries Service to follow the Endangered Species Act’s requirement to designate critical habitat within one year of listing a species as threatened or endangered and not authorize actions that,,, >click to read< 16:12

Feds Sued to Force Protection of Alaska’s Pacific Walrus

The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration Thursday over its denial of Endangered Species Act protection to the Pacific walrus. The lawsuit, filed in Anchorage federal court, challenges the October 2017 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finding the Pacific walrus does not warrant listing as a threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. “The service’s listing decision deprives the walrus of the ESA protections which it is both entitled to and desperately needs,” the complaint states. >click to read<15:30

So Cal Cities Sue Over Tijuana Sewage Polluting US Beaches

Southern California cities, tired of their beaches and waterways being polluted by sewage entering U.S. waters from Tijuana, Mexico, sued the international agency tasked with upholding the Clean Water Act on Friday.,, “Human sewage, enormous volumes of sediment, industrial wastes, pesticides, massive amounts of trash, and a host of other nefarious pollutants from defendants’ facilities barrage the Tijuana River, its Estuary, the Pacific Ocean, and the Imperial Beach beachfront, contaminating those natural resources, stigmatizing the beachfront as unclean and unsafe, and sickening members of the public who use the Tijuana River Valley, the beach, and the ocean for recreation,” the cities claim. >click to read<16:52

Atlantic salmon-farming company sues Washington state to keep its Port Angeles site open

Cooke Aquaculture Pacific has filed a lawsuit seeking to continue running its Atlantic salmon farm in Port Angeles. The suit, filed Thursday in Clallam County Superior Court, declares that Hilary Franz, commissioner of public lands, erred in revoking the company’s lease to operate the Port Angeles farm. Franz on Dec. 15 demanded Cooke shut down the farm and remove the fish and equipment. There are nearly 700,000 Atlantic salmon at the farm. click here to read the story 15:03 

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