Mass. Lobstmen Win Case Fighting Feds’ Fishing Closure

A Massachusetts federal judge ruled Thursday that the National Marine Fisheries Service illegally closed a 200-square-mile swath of ocean to protect the endangered North Atlantic Right Whales, backing a legal challenge by a lobster fishing industry group. In a ruling from the bench, U.S. District Judge William G. Young said the agency’s permanent seasonal closure of the so-called wedge area to lobster fishing in February 2023 to avoid whale entanglements with fishing gear was contrary to a federal budget law passed the previous December that hit pause on new regulations for the lobster industry until the end of 2028. “This court is convinced that the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 is clear on its face, and it clearly applies to bar the final wedge closure rule,” Judge Young said. more, >>click to read<< 12:35

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