Sea Shepherd has filed suit against a variety of federal agencies, alleging that the agencies’ failure to ban imports from certain fisheries in New Zealand that cause harm to endangered dolphins violates the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.
Sea Shepherd Sues United States Over New Zealand Fishery Imports
Defenders of Wildlife Intends to Sue FWS Over Endangered Birds
Defenders of Wildlife has let the Fish and Wildlife Service know that it intends to file suit against the agency, alleging that the agency’s decision to allow horseshoe crab harvests in South Carolina puts several species of threatened birds and their habitats at risk.
Water Export Expansion Halted to Protect Fish
A California federal court has temporarily halted the expansion of federal water export operations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta until the end of the month in order to protect several species listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act, including Chinook salmon and California Central Valley steelhead.
EPA Releases Draft NPDES Aquaculture Permit in New England
The Environmental Protection has announced the availability of the Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Aquaculture General Permit for discharges for Concentrated Aquatic Animal Production facilities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The agency is accepting comments on this document until June 10, 2020.
Trump Signs Executive Order Designed to Support Seafood Industry
President Trump has signed an Executive Order that directs the Department of Commerce to create a list of actions that will “reduce burdens on domestic fishing” within six months. The Order also directs agencies to complete all environmental reviews of proposed aquaculture projects within two years.
Ninth Circuit Ends Suit Over Endangered Okinawa Dugong
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit originally filed in 2003 by environmental groups challenging the Department of Defense’s construction and operation of an aircraft base in Okinawa on the basis that the Department failed to consider to the impacts of the base on the local dugong—a manatee-like species—population. The court affirmed the dismissal on the basis that the Department’s actions were within its discretion.
NMFS Issues Determinations of Overfishing
The National Marine Fisheries Service has issued a notice that the Saint Matthew Island blue king crab, the American Samoa Bottomfish Multi-species Complex, and the Guam Bottomfish Multi-species Complex are overfished.
Ninth Circuit Upholds Livestock Grazing Permitting Process
The Ninth Circuit upheld a ruling by a lower court that the Forest Service’s permitting process for livestock grazing near the habitat of a threatened trout species does not violate environmental protection rules. The lawsuit was brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Oregon Natural Desert Association.
NOAA Proposes Expansion of Marine Sanctuary
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has proposed to expand the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary by 104 square miles. The agency is accepting comments on the proposed rule until July 3, 2020.
Environmental Groups Threaten Endangered Species Suit Over Toxic Algae
Three environmental groups have notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Marine Fisheries Service of their intent to file a lawsuit under the Endangered Species Act. The groups allege that the agencies failed to protect endangered species, including sea turtles, by allowing water containing toxic algae to be released in waterways without proper review.