This Changes Some Things

Southern Resident killer whale eating a Chinook salmon. (Center for Whale Research)

A big win for wild Chinook salmon, Puget Sound orcas, and Wild Fish Conservancy. 

A federal judge has rejected the National Marine Fisheries Service’s “mitigation” for allowing continued “maximum” commercial harvests of the endangered Chinook salmon the imperiled Southern Resident killer whales need to survive — among the mitigations, that the agency will figure out better mitigations before the orcas go extinct.

U.S. District Judge Richard Jones accepted a magistrate judge’s recommendation for summary judgment in a lawsuit filed by Wild Fish Conservancy in 2020. The recommendation revealed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries agency violated the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act by authorizing commercial salmon harvest at levels that are pushing protected wild Chinook salmon and Puget Sound orcas to extinction.

LINK (via Courthouse News)

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