An Overfished Shark Species Will Now Finally Get The Protection It Needs In The Pacific

Oceanic whitetip sharks were historically one of the most abundant sharks in the world’s oceans, but due to both U.S. and international fishing pressure, the population has declined significantly. Honolulu, HI — In response to a lawsuit brought by Earthjustice on behalf of a local conservation group and a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner, the federal government has taken initial steps to protect a dwindling shark species that has roamed the oceans for millions of years. The parties have reached an agreement to halt further legal action in the case, as long as the government follows through on promised actions to formally recognize the species as “overfished.” In April, the Conservation Council for Hawai‘i and Michael Nakachi filed a lawsuit to compel the National Marine Fisheries Service to take action to protect oceanic whitetip sharks. Although the Fisheries Service had informally recognized the imperiled status of the population for years and listed the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, it had not yet declared the population to be “overfished,” a designation that triggers protective action. In response to the lawsuit, the Fisheries Service took quick action to remedy its unlawful behavior. A month after the lawsuit was filed, […]

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