California Fishermen Defeat Rule Limiting Harm to Whales (1)

Feb. 19, 2021, 3:27 PM; Updated: Feb. 19, 2021, 7:04 PM

The National Marine Fisheries Service can withdraw a rule that threatened to shut down California swordfish fishermen if their nets harmed or killed too many whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals, a Washington, D.C., federal court ruled.

The agency was right when it concluded the Hard Caps Rule violated National Standard 7 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, according to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The national standard says measures shouldn’t “impose unnecessary burdens on the economy.”

The agency reversed its initial decision in favor of the rule and found fishermen would face significant ...

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