Federal Judge Reopens Pacific Longline Tuna Fishery

In early April, Judge David Ezra of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii modified his injunction of August 2000 to allow Hawaii-based longline fishermen to target tuna in accordance with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries' Environmental Impact Statement. According to the court, the injunction as now modified strikes a "careful balance between the preservation of endangered species, in this case several species of sea turtles, while minimizing to the greatest extent possible the economic impact upon the fishing industry."
This action follows successful agency completion of a National Environmental Policy Act analysis within the accelerated time frame required by the court. This decision does not affect the ban on longline fishing for swordfish, and it remains in place north of the equator. For more information, contact Steve Leathery at 301-713-2341.