As the federal government takes action to restore and conserve our nation’s lands and waters, strengthening protections for National Marine Sanctuaries must be a priority.
“With the climate crisis threatening ocean life as we know it, we are depending on our leaders to treat this situation with the urgency it demands,” said CLF President Bradley Campbell. “By appointing a highly regarded expert from New England, President Biden will have a NMFS leader who understands the perils our ocean faces and the promise it holds in a resilient future. CLF looks forward to working with Administrator Coit to restore healthy fisheries in New England and protect critical ocean species and habitat.”
“Roughly half of all right whale deaths are because they are run over and killed by speeding boats, and this unprecedented delay is only making matters worse,” said Erica Fuller, a senior attorney at Conservation Law Foundation. “It shouldn’t take a lawsuit to force regulators to make the common-sense decision to reduce vessel speeds in areas where right whales are present. The new administration must act quickly and avoid repeating the same mistakes of the Trump years.”
“At least 32 right whales have been killed by human activities in the last three years alone, yet the federal government is still sitting on its hands,” said Erica Fuller a senior attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation. “The window to save this species is closing, and we’re left with no other option but to file this petition. The federal government must declare this situation what it is – an emergency – and take action to protect these animals now.”
To help rebuild the cod population, scientists and managers must know how many fish are being caught by fishing boats. Thankfully, a recent vote by regional fishery managers brings us one step closer to collecting that valuable information.
“This decision confirms that even the federal government is not above the law,” said Erica Fuller, CLF Senior Attorney. “We must do whatever it takes to ensure right whales are here for future generations, and that starts with obeying the Endangered Species Act. The ruling provides an incentive for fishermen and scientists to forge a new path that protects right whales while also sustaining the lobster industry.”
Atlantic cod is in crisis. For decades, our fishery managers have failed to take effective action to stem the problem. Now, a rapidly warming ocean is making cod’s precarious position even worse. Now, CLF is calling on the federal government to follow the law and rebuild Atlantic cod. If management doesn’t improve now, we could lose our founding fish forever.
“Our regional managers have lost control of and abandoned the cod fishery,” said Peter Shelley, Senior Counsel at Conservation Law Foundation. “After decades of reckless decision-making, Atlantic cod populations are now in crisis. To give this iconic species a chance at survival and recovery, the federal government must take the strongest possible action today and temporarily prohibit further cod fishing.”
In a major win for endangered North Atlantic right whales, a federal judge ruled that gillnet fishing gear must be removed from 3,000 nautical miles of ocean waters in southern New England. Opening the areas to gillnet fishing without considering harm to right whales violated the Endangered Species Act, and the gear must be removed until the required analysis is complete.
New England’s storied cod population is on brink of collapse. Our regional and federal fishery managers are tasked with maintaining a healthy Atlantic cod population. Yet they have a long record of making management decisions that do more harm than good.