A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by North Carolina commercial fishing groups who contended that environmental regulators should make recreational anglers comply with laws that protect endangered sea turtles.

Chief Judge James C. Dever III of North Carolina’s Eastern District Court ruled on July 22 that the N.C. Fisheries Association and the Carteret County Fisherman’s Association did not have legal grounds to sue state and federal agencies because they could not show that their members had suffered economic or environmental harm.

Dever’s decision was lauded by a Raleigh-based nonprofit that promotes recreational fishing.

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