Jump to Navigation

Alaska Seafood Cooperative: Endangered Species Act Fishing Regulations Related to Steller Sea Lions

Marten Law represents Seattle-based fishing companies, Adak Community Development Association and Aleut Corporation in litigation defending the re-opening of the Aleutian Islands to cod and mackerel fishing. The re-opening resulted from Marten Law’s successful challenge to Steller sea lion mitigation regulations issued in 2010 under the Endangered Species Act that closed vast areas of federal waters off of Alaska to fishing. The federal fisheries in the 842,000 square nautical mile area of the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska are the most productive fisheries in the world, and comprise about half the fish caught in U.S. waters. Marten Law successfully defended the reopening in U.S. District Court. That decision is currently being appealed by Oceana and Greenpeace to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

It has been estimated that the present value of fishing and related revenue at risk from the 2010 closures, which were premised upon alleged impacts from the fisheries to endangered Steller sea lions, was between $1.8 billion and $3.8 billion.