Description: Challenge to biological opinion for fishery management plan with respect to conclusion regarding impacts on distinct population segments of loggerhead sea turtles.
Oceana, Inc. v. Pritzker
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 08/31/2015 Opinion Download Opinion issued. Federal Court Required NMFS to Explain Conclusion of No Short-Term Climate Impacts on Sea Turtles. The federal district court for the District of Columbia declined to vacate a biological opinion in which the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) determined that the operation of seven fisheries would not jeopardize the continued existence of the Northwest Atlantic distinct population segment of loggerhead sea turtles. The court did, however, remand the matter to NMFS to address various concerns, including the short-term impacts of climate change on the loggerheads. The court said the biological opinion had described “clear evidence that climate change is exerting significant environmental impacts right now,” but had nevertheless concluded that climate change impacts on sea turtles in the short-term future would be negligible. The court required NMFS to provide an explanation of this conclusion. The court rejected most of plaintiff Oceana, Inc.’s other arguments, including the argument that NMFS had failed to consider the long-term effects of climate change on the loggerheads.