Greenwire Covers Akin Gump Pro Bono Suit in Fishing Monitoring Case

Greenwire, in its story “Oceana sues feds over bycatch monitoring,” wrote about a lawsuit brought by environment-focused foundation Oceana against the federal government, specifically the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS), over how the agency monitors bycatch, the unwanted marine life caught in commercial fishing. Akin Gump is representing Oceana pro bono in the case.

The lawsuit [Oceana, Inc. v. Pritzker, et al.] contends that the NMFS’s new “standardized bycatch reporting methodology,” promulgated via a Final Rule on June 30, “not only fails to address the fundamental legal flaws identified by the D.C. Circuit [in Oceana, Inc. v. Locke], it effectively doubles down on the Fisheries Service’s decade-long practice of underfunding and marginalizing its bycatch monitoring systems.”

Oceana’s assistant general counsel noted, in a statement, that, without “accurate and precise information on how many fish are being taken out of the water, overfishing in the Northeast will continue.”

In a statement included by Greenwire in the story, Akin Gump environment and natural resources partner Paul Gutermann and senior counsel Charles Franklin say that it is time for NMFS to “finish a job Congress mandated almost 20 years ago: establish and implement a scientifically-defensible, unbiased and rigorous process for monitoring and managing bycatch to guide future conservation measures and protect the health and viability of our nation's fisheries."