Vermont Governor Phil Scott has signed a bill that prohibits the purchase or sale of a product wholly or partially made from a number of wild animals, including cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, sea turtles, tigers, and chimpanzees. The bill contains exceptions for law enforcement agencies, activities expressly authorized by federal law, antiques, and some educational purposes. The law will take effect January 1, 2022.
Vermont Restricts Trade in Wild Animal Products
Government Violated Magnuson Stevens Act with Anchovy Fishing Limit
A California judge has ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration violated the Magnuson Stevens Act when it approved a fishing limit for anchovies with an indefinite time frame instead of considering the best and most recent science.
FWS Opens National Wildlife Refuges to Hunting and Fishing
The Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a final rule opening eight National Wildlife Refuges for the first time and re-opening or expanding 89 other National Wildlife Refuges to hunting and sport fishing. The rule is effective immediately.
NMFS Allows Temporary Deep-Set Longline Fishing in the Southern Exclusion Zone
The National Marine Fisheries Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have issued a temporary rule reopening the Southern Exclusion Zone to deep-set longline fishing for all vessels registered under the Hawaii longline limited access program.
National Park Service Reverses Ban on Hunting Practices in Alaska
The National Park Service has issued a final rule for Alaska that allows baiting bears with human food, hunting bears in their dens using artificial light, using dogs to hunt bears, and using boats to hunt swimming caribou. The rule is effective as of July 9, 2020.
FWS Proposes Hunting and Fishing Information Collection
The Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed an information collection “on the uses and demands for wildlife-related recreation,” such as fish stocking, boating access, and fishing and hunting opportunities. The agency is accepting comments on this action until July 13, 2020.
Groups Challenge New Bycatch Rule
Two environmental groups have filed suit against the National Marine Fisheries Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, alleging that a new bycatch rule is allowing the Western Atlantic bluefin tuna population to be overfished in violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.
Department of Interior Does Not Need to Rush Permits for Trophy Hunting Imports
A D.C. federal judge has denied the Dallas Safari Club’s bid to require the federal government to issue decisions on over 200 elephant trophy import applications within 90 days. The judge found that plaintiffs would not be irreparably harmed by a continued delay, though they may be disappointed.
FWS Considers Expanding Hunting and Fishing Opportunities
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a rule that would expand hunting and fishing opportunities at 97 national wildlife refuses and 9 national fish hatcheries. The agency is accepting comments on the proposed rule until June 8, 2020.
Group Sues Trump Administration Over Lack of Protection for Whitetip Shark
The Conservation Council for Hawai’i has filed suit against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the National Marine Fisheries Service for the agencies’ alleged failure to classify the whitetip shark as overfished. Designating the species as overfished would trigger a requirement under the Magnuson-Stevens Act to implement measures to protect the population.