NMFS anchovy regulations illegal
New regulations governing the management of the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy are illegal
A federal judge has ruled in favour of international advocacy group, Oceana’s, claims that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) illegally adopted new regulations governing the management of the northern subpopulation of northern anchovy.
Specifically it determined that fisheries managers violated the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act when they failed to incorporate the timely advice of NMFS scientists when amending the Coastal Pelagic Species Management Plan governing the species at the base of the California Current ecosystem.
Whilst Oceana welcomed the news, it pointed out that the court failed to address the remaining challenges facing the management of other important forage species. Questions now remain on whether the management of forage species, such as Pacific sardine, mackerel, and squid, is being undertaken with adequate precautions for the health of the ecosystem.
Whit Sheard, Pacific Counsel and Senior Advisor for Oceana, said: “While we are heartened that the ruling recognises that managers must heed scientific recommendations when setting catch levels for forage species, we still have a long way to go to address the history of overly aggressive harvests.”
He added that as the court refused to address the merits of its claims, it will press forward through the courts, Congress, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and at the advisory council to protect declining forage species.
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