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Press Release February 2, 2021

Earthjustice Files New Legal Actions to Protect Anchovy and Ocean Wildlife as Fisheries Service Again Ignores Court Order

Continued refusal of Fisheries Service to follow court orders puts anchovy at risk of overfishing and threatens whales, sea lions, dolphins, salmon

Lau'ipala (yellow tang fish) swim in a coral reef off the island of Lānaʻi, Hawaii. Reefs are essential to biodiversity, with 25% of all marine species found in, on, or near
them. Healthy reefs also facilitate subsistence and commercial fishing, and they protect people from storm surges and floods, absorbing up to 97% of a shorebound wave’s energy. Around a billion people benefit from reefs. (M Swiet Productions / Getty Images)
feature March 14, 2024

Ocean Biodiversity

Ocean ecosystems are essential to our world, and thankfully, we can still chart a new path forward to protect them.

Anchovies, an essential food source for many marine predators, have suffered from overfishing for years. A recent federal court decision requires the National Marine Fisheries Service to set catch limits for the fish based on current population data.
(evantravels / Getty Images)
Press Release: Victory January 23, 2019

Court Orders Fisheries Service to Issue New Anchovy Catch Limit within 90-days

Anchovies are a critically important food fish for larger ocean predators including whales, sea lions, salmon, and brown pelicans.

Humpback whale lunge feeding in an anchovy-rich cove, off the coast of Santa Cruz, Calif. (David Gomez / Getty Images)
case April 19, 2021

West Coast Anchovy Catch Limits

The Fisheries Service established a multi-year, unchanging catch limit of 23,573 metric tons that would not change even if the anchovy population collapses. From 2009–2015, scientists documented an anchovy population collapse as thousands of sea lions starved to death on U.S. West Coast beaches and brown pelicans abandoned their chicks due to an inability to…

Anchovies, an essential food source for many marine predators, have suffered from overfishing for years. A recent federal court decision requires the National Marine Fisheries Service to set catch limits for the fish based on current population data.
(evantravels / Getty Images)
Article: Victory June 14, 2018

Court Says Anchovy Catch Limit Relied on Fishy Data

A federal judge’s decision marks a promising turning point for the anchovy and the health of California’s ocean ecosystem.

Protecting tiny forage fish like the anchovy is good for the ecosystem and the economy.
(evantravels/Shutterstock)
Press Release: Victory January 19, 2018

Court Rejects Catch Limit for California Anchovy Fishery Following Oceana Lawsuit

Ruling finds Fisheries Service disregarded best available science and failed to prevent overfishing

document September 2, 2020

Anchovy Court Order Motions for Summary Judgment

Court order on the Western Pacific anchovy case filed by Earthjustice and Oceana

document June 28, 2019

Oceana Complaint Against National Marine Fisheries Service – Overfishing Northern Anchovy

In response to a final rule issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service, Oceana, represented by Earthjustice, filed a lawsuit against the Fisheries Service for its continued failure to prevent overfishing, use the best available science or account for the food needs of ocean animals in managing anchovy population.

Humpback whale lunge feeding in an anchovy-rich cove, off the coast of Santa Cruz, Calif. (David Gomez / Getty Images)
Press Release: Victory September 3, 2020

Oceana and Earthjustice Prevail in Lawsuit to Protect Ocean’s Small Fish

Federal judge rules fishery managers failed to prevent overfishing of northern anchovy

document January 19, 2018

Opinion West Coast Anchovy Catch 1/18/18

Judge Koh ruled that NMFS failed to base their annual catch limit (25,000 mt), acceptable biological catch (25,000 mt), and overfishing limit (100,000 mt) for anchovy on the best available scientific information. At the time NMFS promulgated its Catch Rule, the best available science showed that the anchovy population was likely less than 32,000 mt and anchovy-dependent predators like the California brown pelican and California sea lion had already experienced multi-year starvation and breeding failures due to lack of food. Judge Koh also found that NMFS failed to demonstrate that the rule would prevent overfishing, as required by the Magnuson Act. Because she found it failed to prevent overfishing, she did not reach the claim that the rule also failed to achieve optimum yield by accounting for the food needs of marine predators. Finally, she held that our challenge to the previously established overfishing limit and acceptable biological catch (from which the annual catch limit is derived) was timely under the 9th Circuit Ore. Trollers decision.

Anchovies have been overfished for many years. The National Marine Fisheries Service recently issued a rule that establishes an unchanging catch limit that does not prevent the overfishing of this essential food source that is so critical to supporting a healthy ocean food web.
(evantravels / Getty Images)
Press Release July 1, 2019

Oceana Sues Feds for Failure to Prevent Overfishing of Ocean’s Tiny Fish

Lawsuit seeks to ensure abundant anchovy populations needed to feed ocean wildlife

The dusky shark is one of the largest U.S. Atlantic shark species, and it is also one of the most imperiled.
(COPYRIGHT (C) 2004 ROBERT HEIL - WWW.ROBERTHEIL.COM)
Article April 10, 2019

Dusky Sharks Snatch Victory as Courts Tire of Trump Antics

Recent court rulings are the latest sign that Trump’s efforts to weaken critical environmental regulations are no match for the law.

Article March 25, 2022

Giving the Earth’s Species a Fighting Chance

To stop the biodiversity crisis, we must protect public lands and waters that wildlife depend on.

A humpback whale feeding in Monterey Bay, California.
(Tory Kallman/Shutterstock)
Article June 12, 2015

To Save the Whales, You Must First Save the Sardines

Sardines are in need of protections like those the menhaden, a similar species, received after their population reached the verge of collapse.

The humpback whale is one species that migrates along the California coast and is threatened by entanglement in fishing gear.
(Michael Dawes/Flickr)
Article May 7, 2015

Whale Entanglement Sightings Reach Record High

What’s causing the record number of whale entanglements off of the Pacific coast? Earthjustice is on the case.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has finalized a rule that will protect dozens of species of small fish and squid that are an important part of the food chain for seabirds, whales and bigger fish.
(Guillaume Tunzini/iStock)
Article April 15, 2016

Ask First, Fish Later

Protecting tiny forage fish is good for the ecosystem and the economy.

Press Release December 13, 2011

Government Sued to Protect Prey of Whales, Dolphins and Seals

Government ignores science and illegally allows overfishing of key species

Stacey Geis' daughter kayaking in Elkhorn Slough, located on the Monterey Bay coastline.
(Photo courtesy of Stacey Geis)
Article April 21, 2015

The Ripple Effect of Overfishing Our Oceans

There is a crisis occurring in the Bay Area: Since 2013, there has been a dramatic increase in sea lion strandings due to starvation.