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Maine Right Whale Litigation

You may have recently seen that the MLU has dropped part of our litigation on Right Whales... In light of the First Circuit Court of Appeals decision to vacate the United States District Court for the District of Maine's preliminary injunction prohibiting NMFS from closing approximately 960 square mile of fishing grounds in Lobster Management Area 1, and based on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia's recent finding that NMFS's current rules for regulating lobster fishing in federal waters (including the closure) were in valid because they failed to comply with the Endangered Species Act, the MLU has taken the procedural step of agreeing to dismiss its case in Maine, which was largely mooted by the DC Court's recent decision, in order to focus its resources on the ongoing litigation in DC and on Maine's lobster fishery. The MLU continues to believe that any closure of lobster fishing in the Northern Gulf of Maine is unjustified based on the best science available, and will continue to challenge the LMA 1 closure area in connection with the pending DC litigation and the ongoing NMFS rulemaking process.

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