Federal Court Finds NOAA Violated Multiple Laws Designed to Protected Endangered Whales

A federal court granted the motion for summary judgment filed by Center for Biological Diversity, Conservation Law Foundation, and Defenders of Wildlife in litigation challenging the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s failure to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales from deadly entanglements in American lobster fishing gear. The court found that the agency had violated the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act when it issued a May 2021 biological opinion and a September 2021 final rule without sufficient action to reduce the lobster fishery’s lethal threat to right whales.