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  • Federal Court of Appeals Upholds U.S. Ban on Mexican Seafood Imports
  • December 7th, 2018 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Endangered Species

  • On November 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a months-old ban on the importation of Mexican shrimp and other seafood caught using gillnets. The import ban was promulgated in response to gillnets’ impact on the critically endangered vaquita porpoise—of which there are only fifteen members remaining in the wild. The species is killed at a rate of about fifty percent annually due to their accidental entanglement in gillnets used in the Upper Gulf of California, Mexico. This ruling marks the most recent in a line of failed legal challenges several U.S. governmental agencies have made in a hope to have the ban struck down.


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  • Diver Wins Claim for Chemical Burns Suffered During Point Reyes Restoration Project
  • November 29th, 2018 — by Terra Bowling — Category: Torts

  • Last year, a commercial diver hired to assist with a National Park Service project to restore the Point Reyes National Seashore in California filed suit against two companies hired to complete the restoration. Matthew Zugsberger made several claims against the companies, including general maritime law claims for maintenance and cure, negligence, wrongful termination, fraud, and labor claims. In September, a court ruled on the maintenance and cure claims, finding that Zugsberger must be compensated for injuries incurred during the project.


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  • No Remedy Yet for D.C. Residents with Sewage-Filled Basements
  • November 19th, 2018 — by Grace Sullivan — Category: Environmental Law

  • The twenty-one plaintiffs in the case of Miller v. D.C. Water and Sewer Authority are D.C. residents who had what a federal judge called “the distinct misfortune” of living on Delafield Place in November of 2016. At that time, the basements of each of the plaintiffs’ single-family homes were filled with more than two feet of raw sewage, including industrial and commercial waste. Plaintiffs described the eruption of sewage from their basement toilets as “overwhelming,” “nauseating,” and “terrifying.”


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  • Injurious Species Listing for Quagga Mussel on the Horizon
  • November 16th, 2018 — by Stephanie Showalter Otts — Category: Invasive Species

  • On November 14, the United States Senate passed the “Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018” by almost unanimous vote. The bill will now move to the House of Representatives for reconciliation, where it is expected to pass.


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  • Pesticide Sprayer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Fails in Lawsuit Filed by Crawfish Aquaculturists
  • November 14th, 2018 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Aquaculture

  • On October 22, the court for the Western District of Louisiana denied a motion for summary judgment in Carline Fisheries. v. Vector Disease Control (No. 6:16-1506, 2018 BL 389535 (W.D. La. Oct. 22, 2018)). According to the aquaculturist plaintiffs in this case, Vector Disease Control (“Vector”), a pesticide spraying company, caused the deaths of numerous farmed crawfish when it aerially sprayed the insecticide Permanone over portions of Iberia Parish in November 2015, as part of an effort to control local mosquito populations.


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  • Drinking Water Update - Lead Testing in Schools
  • November 9th, 2018 — by Catherine Janasie — Category: Water Quality

  • Issues with the nation’s drinking water have continued to be in the news of late. In the U.S., drinking water is regulated on the federal level by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The SDWA aims to ensure the quality of Americans' drinking water and authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set national standards for drinking water to protect against health effects from exposure to naturally-occurring and man-made contaminants.


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  • Florida Oyster Industry Continues to Struggle in the Aftermath of Hurricane Michael
  • November 1st, 2018 — by Grace Sullivan — Category: Natural Disasters Hurricanes Aquaculture

  • When Hurricane Michael made landfall on October 10, 2018, it claimed nearly forty lives across four states, and its aftermath continues to claim the livelihood of oystermen in Apalachicola, Florida. The town and bay of the same name are historically famed for their oysters, which once made up 90% of the wild caught oysters in Florida and 10% in the nation. Oil spill pollution, a drought, and a water use dispute decimated the native oysters in recent years, leading to a shift to aquaculture.


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  • Court Dismisses Challenge to Marine National Monument Designation
  • October 25th, 2018 — by Terra Bowling — Category: Marine Monuments

  • In 2016, President Obama designated the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument under the Antiquities Act. The monument, which encompasses 4,913 square miles off the coast of New England, marked the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean. Recently, in Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association v. Ross, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected a challenge to the designation. (2018 WL 4853901 (D.D.C. Oct. 5, 2018)).


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  • Mississippi v. Tennessee Case Update
  • October 19th, 2018 — by Catherine Janasie — Category: Groundwater

  • Although the U.S. Supreme Court has developed a common law framework for resolving disputes over interstate water resources, the Court has never resolved a dispute over groundwater resources. Mississippi v. Tennessee, a case over the use of groundwater by the City of Memphis near the MS-TN border, is the first case of its kind.


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  • Federal Court Vacates Gulf of Mexico Aquaculture Regulations
  • October 10th, 2018 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Aquaculture

  • On September 25, a coalition of fishing and public interest groups, represented by the Center for Food Safety (CFS), won a lawsuit challenging National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) rules that would have permitted finfish aquaculture operations in the Gulf of Mexico.


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  • Standards for Farmed Fish Welfare: A Domestic and International View
  • October 5th, 2018 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Aquaculture

  • Animal welfare has become a hot button issue in the aquaculture industry over recent years. There is great debate both in the United States and internationally over what degree of welfare protection, if any, farmed fish should be entitled to during their lives and at slaughter.


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