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Committee for Humane Legislation v. Richardson

ELR Citation: 6 ELR 20661
Nos. No. 76-1479, 540 F.2d 1141/9 ERC 1327/(D.C. Cir., 08/06/1976) Aff'd

The court of appeals affirms a district court decision holding that National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issuance of a general permit for taking porpoise incidental to tuna fishing operations did not comply with the Marine Mammal Protection Act, but stays the lower court's order, which halted fishing, until January 1, 1977. While the Act does not require cessation of tuna fishing nor prohibit the purse-seine method of fishing, issuance of this general permit by NMFS conflicts with statutory policy. The Service failed to make an estimate of optimum sustainable population (OSP) for porpoise or to calculate the effects of incidental taking on OSP, as required by §1373(d) of the Act. The court remands the case to the district court for determination of the question of whether the permit must specify both the number and kind of animals allowed to be taken, or need only set an aggregate number.

For the district court decision, see 6 ELR 20500.

Counsel for Appellant Committee for Humane Legislation, Inc.
Patrick C. O'Donoghue
1912 Sunderland Place, NW
Washington DC 20036
(202) 785-2237

Counsel for Appellant American Tunaboat Association
William A. Allen
Covington & Burling
888 16th St., NW
Washington DC 20006
(202) 452-6000

Counsel for Appellant Fund for Animals
Bernard Fensterwald, Jr.
910 16th St., NW
Washington DC 20006
(202) 223-1667

Counsel for Federal Appellees
Peter R. Taft, Asst. Attorney General
Edmund B. Clark
Robert A. Kerry
Department of Justice
Washington DC 20530
(202) 737-8200

Counsel for Amicus Curiae Humane Society of the United States
Murdaugh Stuart Madden
2100 L St., NW
Washingtdn DC 20037
(202) 833-3360

Counsel for Amicus Curiae Pacific Legal Foundation
Ronald A. Zumbrun
Raymond M. Momboisse
John H. Midlen, Jr.
Glen E. Davis
1030 15th St., NW, Suite 342
Washington DC 20005
(202) 466-2686

Wright, Wilkey, Robinson, JJ.