I. Facts and Procedural Background
Plaintiff-Appellees, Turtle Island Restoration Network, Center for Biological Diversity, and KAHEA: The Hawaiian- Environmental Alliance (collectively, “Turtle Island”), are nonprofit environmental organizations and corporations. Turtle Island sued the Defendant-Appellees United States Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Service (“NMFS”), and Gary Locke, in his official capacity as Secre- tary of the Department of Commerce (collectively, the “Federal Agencies”), challenging the implementation of Amendment 18 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region (the “Final Rule”). In relevant part, the Final Rule determines the annual number of allowable interactions between the Hawaii-based shallow-set longline fishery (the “Fishery”) and loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles. Turtle Island also challenged the validity of the 2008 Biological Opinion that NMFS prepared to assess the Final Rule’s impact on threatened and endangered species and the associated turtle incidental take statement. The Hawaii Longline Association (the “Longliners”) was granted permission to intervene as a defendant.
Regulation of the Fishery has been extensively litigated by these same parties over the past decade. See Turtle Island Restoration Network v. U.S. Dep’t of Commerce, 438 F.3d 937, 940 (9th Cir. 2006). The Final Rule is the latest attempt to modify Fishery regulations. The purpose of the Final Rule was to optimize the Fishery’s yield without jeopardizing the continued existence of sea turtles and other protected resources. See Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries; Hawaii- Based Shallow-set Longline Fishery; Court Order, 76 Fed. Reg. 13297, 13297 (Mar. 11, 2011) (codified at 50 C.F.R. pt. 665). The Final Rule implementing Amendment 18 changed certain substantive provisions of the 2004 Regulations governing the Fishery. The 2004 Regulations mandated (1) the use of large circle hooks, (2) the use of mackerel-type bait, (3) a limit of 2120 shallow-sets per year, (4) annual turtle incidental take limits of 17 loggerheads and 16 leatherbacks, and (5) 100% observer coverage on every swordfish-vessel fishing trip.
Judge(s): Alfred T. Goodwin
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Related Categories: Administrative Law , Maritime
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Plaintiff Lawyer(s)||Plaintiff Law Firm(s)|
|Defendant Lawyer(s)||Defendant Law Firm(s)|
|Jennifer Neumann||U.S. Department of Justice|
|Intervenors Lawyer(s)||Intervenors Law Firm(s)|
|Jason Morgan||Stoel Rives LLP|