[MARMAM] Court Orders Ban of Mexican Seafood Failing to Meet US Standards for Vaquita Protection Pursuant to the MMPA

Smith, Zak zsmith at nrdc.org
Fri Jul 27 11:26:31 PDT 2018

Yesterday, (Thursday, July 26, 2018), the U.S. Court of International Trade issued an opinion in our vaquita litigation.

The case, which was filed by NRDC, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Animal Welfare Institute, challenges the U.S. government's violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act's imports provision. That provision requires the government to bar imports from foreign fisheries whose marine mammal bycatch exceeds the standards applicable to domestic fisheries. As readers of MARMAM are all too aware, bycatch is depleting the vaquita at the rate of almost half the population each year.

In its decision, the Court found that "the number of permissible vaquita deaths under the [MMPA] is being exceeded, that an embargo is legally required, and that the species is at risk of extinction." It explained that the risk of the vaquita's extinction from continued gillnet fishing in the Gulf outweighs the costs of an embargo. And it cited experts' statements that "extinction is . . . inevitable unless gillnets are completely removed from vaquita habitat."

The Court's order bars all imports, into the United States, from commercial fisheries that use gillnets within the vaquita's range. This includes shrimp, corvina, sierra, and chano.

Please reply offline if you'd like a copy of the decision (NRDC v. Ross).

Thank you,

Zak Smith
Senior Attorney
Director, Wildlife Trade Initiative
Nature Program

Natural Resources
Defense Council
1314 Second Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
T 310.434.2334
zsmith at nrdc.org<mailto:zsmith at nrdc.org>

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