A D.C. federal judge has given the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) two years to update its Atlantic lobster fishery regulations to adequately protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale, aiming to both save the whales and avoid a massive lobster industry shutdown that might otherwise occur. NMFS’ deadline to finalize a new Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Amendment Rule is December 9, 2024. Grocery retailer Whole Foods recently announced it would stop purchasing lobster from the Gulf of Maine starting in December. The decision followed Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch demoting Maine lobster to “red” avoid status and the Marine Stewardship Council revoking its sustainability label after determining that the lobster fishery and rules from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were not doing enough to protect the remaining 340 North Atlantic right whales.
[To accompany Federal Court Case Law Update "Federal Judge Gives NMFS Two Years to Update Lobster Fishery Regulations to Better Protect Endangered Whales" from Brooks Animal Law Digest Issue No. 166.]