April 8, 2014
Massachusetts and New Hampshire have picked up another ally in their civil lawsuit in federal court that charges that NOAA disregarded the devastating economic impact of the withering cuts in allowable catch limits for cod and other groundfish it instituted last May.
The Center for Sustainable Fisheries, the New Bedford-based fisheries advocacy group, has filed an amicus brief urging the court grant summary judgment on behalf of plaintiffs Massachusetts and New Hampshire, charging National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s inability to utilize the best science available led to an “arrogation of power where basic principles of science and the law are ignored to further an agency agenda at the expense and livelihood of fishing communities.”
The center’s support comes nearly a year after the suit was filed but provides Massachusetts and New Hampshire with enhanced scientific arguments for its claims that NOAA did not pursue or accept the best available science last May when it established the increasingly draconian three-year allowable catch limits.
“This amicus brief further displays the broad support that we have received to prevent NOAA from imposing catch limits that will devastate fishing communities and fishing families in the commonwealth,” said Christopher M. Loh, spokesman for Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.