Description: Lawsuit asserting that the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to designate critical habitat for ringed and bearded seals.
Center for Biological Diversity v. Ross
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 06/13/2019 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Lawsuit Filed to Compel Critical Habitat Designation for Threatened Ice Seals. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit in Alaska federal court asserting the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to designate critical habitat for the Arctic subspecies of ringed seal and the Beringia DPS of the bearded seal. NMFS listed both species as threatened in 2012. The complaint alleged that NMFS has acknowledged that “best available science demonstrates that the earth will continue to warm throughout this century and that the warming will cause a dramatic loss of sea ice and snow cover in the Arctic.” The complaint further alleged that best available science “shows that such losses will likely cause a precipitous decline in the ringed and bearded seal populations and that both species will disappear from most of the places they currently live within the foreseeable future.” The plaintiff asked the court to order NMFS to designated critical habitat for both species “by a reasonable date certain.”