Oceana, the maritime environmental group that successfully sued NOAA Fisheries in 2011 over its bycatch rules, is challenging the federal regulator of the nation's fisheries over its newest bycatch rule for the Northeast region.

Oceana again sued NOAA Fisheries on Wednesday, claiming the current bycatch reporting rule finalized last month for the region -- in part, as a response to Oceana's earlier legal victory -- is underfunded, uniformly inadequate for providing accurate information and in violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.

The 43-page lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C., claims the new bycatch rule "leaves loopholes that would guarantee that observer coverage will never meet its performance standards, ultimately failing to fix current insufficiently low levels of monitoring in the region," Oceana said.

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