Court Protects Pacific Right Whale

Monday, June 20, 2005
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an Order directing the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), no later than October 28, to either issue a proposed rule designating an area of the Pacific Ocean as critical habitat for the Pacific Right Whale or issue a notice explaining why no critical habitat should be designated due to a more paramount statutory consideration (e.g., commercial or national security interest). The right whale was listed as endangered in 1971. NMFS issued a recovery plan in 1991 calling for designation of critical habitat for the whale by 1996. Three critical habitats have been designated in the Atlantic Ocean. Any impact on shipping will not be known unless and until a critical habitat has been selected. Center for Biological Diversity v. Evans, No. C 04-04496 WHA (N.D. Cal. - HK LAW)

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