Two Very Important Rulings for Wild Fish
In the last few weeks, Wild Fish Conservancy won two very important lawsuits, both of which have significant implications for the future of wild fish. The first was originally filed in 2008 against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. It dealt with the hatchery's impacts on “bull trout,” a salmonid species listed as “threatened” under the ESA. In a December 7 ruling, two judges of a three judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Wild Fish Conservancy. See the press release, and .
The second lawsuit dealt with the state-sanctioned killing of sea lions. Wild Fish Conservancy and the Humane Society of the United States filed suit back in 2008. On November 23, 2010, the Ninth Circuit ruled to block the National Marine Fisheries Service’s authorization to kill federally-protected sea lions on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington. The National Marine Fisheries Service allowed the states of Oregon and Washington to kill up to 85 sea lions a year at the Bonneville Dam. When it comes to the recovery of salmon, people pose a much larger threat (commercial/recreational fishing, dams, destruction of habitat) than sea lions. See the , and .