Groups sue to restrict salmon fishing, help Northwest orcas
SEATTLE (AP) — Federal officials say they may restrict salmon fishing off the West Coast to help the Pacific Northwest’s critically endangered killer whales, but two environmental groups are suing anyway to ensure it happens.
The Center for Biological Diversity and the Wild Fish Conservancy asked the U.S. District Court in Seattle on Wednesday to order officials to reconsider a 2009 finding that commercial and recreational fisheries were not likely to contribute to the orcas’ extinction.
The National Marine Fisheries Service issued a letter early last month indicating that it intends to do so. Julie Teel Simmonds, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said the point of the lawsuit is to ensure they finish the job with urgency, given the plight of the whales.