STATE OF MAINE DEPARTMENT OF MARINE RESOURCES, ET AL. v. NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE, ET AL.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned a lower court decision upholding the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) lobster fishery regulations and the biological opinion detailing how the fishery would impact endangered North Atlantic right whales. The challenge was brought by the Maine lobstermen’s association with support from intervenors that included the Maine Department of Marine Resources, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association. The appellate court ruled that NMFS improperly had relied on worst-case scenarios that favored the whales and should have focused on “likely” outcomes, accordingly ordering the district court to grant summary judgment for the lobster industry on two of its claims.
[To accompany Case Law Update "D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Sides with Lobster Fishers in Legal Challenge to NMFS Rules to Protect Endangered Whales ” from Brooks Animal Law Digest Issue No. 195]