Akin Gump Secures Marine Life Protections in Pro Bono Victory for Oceana

(Washington, D.C.) – A federal judge in California has ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) continued delay in implementing strict limits —known as hard caps— on the number of whales, sea turtles and dolphins that can be killed in the California-based swordfish drift gillnet fishery violates the law. A team from Akin Gump provided pro bono representation to the nonprofit advocacy organization Oceana in the matter. The litigation calls upon NMFS to finalize regulations within 30 days of the court order, after more than four years since the original protections were proposed by regional fishery managers.

Judge R. Gary Klausner previously ruled in Oceana’s favor in October 2018 after NMFS failed to implement the protections approved by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. The continued inaction and refusal by NMFS to comply with the court’s order led Oceana in November 2019 to request once again that the court intervene.

To read the court’s decision, please click here.

The Akin Gump team representing Oceana includes environment and natural resources practice head David Quigley, partner Stacey Mitchell and senior counsel Andrew Oelz; and litigation senior counsel Stanley Woodward and associate Lide Paterno.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers and advisors in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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