I find #4 on page 19 troublesome
4. Enjoin Defendants from allowing the ongoing operation of the recreational hook and line fishery until such time as an incidental take permit is issued;
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
CIVIL ACTION NO.: 4:14-cv-138
NORTH CAROLINA FISHERIES )
ASSOCIATION, INC.; and )
CARTERET COUNTY FISHERMAN’S )
ASSOCIATION, INC., )
vs. ) COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY
) AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
PENNY PRITZKER, Secretary, United )
States Department of Commerce; SALLY, )
JEWELL, Secretary, United States )
Department of Interior; DR. KATHLEEN )
SULLIVAN, Administrator, National )
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; )
DANIEL ASHE, Director, United States )
Fish and Wildlife Services; JOHN E. )
SKVARLA, Secretary, North Carolina )
Department of Environment and Natural )
Resources; DR. LOUIS DANIEL, )
Executive Director, North Carolina )
Division of Marine Fisheries; and, )
GORDON S. MYERS, Executive )
Director, North Carolina Wildlife )
Resources Commission, )
1. North Carolina Fisheries Association and Carteret County Fisherman’s Association (collectively “Plaintiffs”) challenge the failures of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior, the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”), the Director of the United Case 4:14-cv-00138-D Document 1 Filed 08/05/14 Page 1 of 19
States Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”), the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (“NCDENR”), the Executive Director of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries (“NCDMF”), and the Executive Director of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (“NCWRC”), (collectively “Defendants”) to comply with mandatory obligations under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), 16 U.S.C. § 1531, et seq., and properly utilize their authority to conserve, manage, and regulate recognized marine environmental threats to prevent the known unlawful takes of threatened and endangered marine sea turtles.
2. Specifically, the Defendants have long recognized that the recreational hook and line fishery has been in violation of the ESA, yet even with this knowledge, Defendants have failed to take action to prevent the illegal take of sea turtles in this fishery and failed to ensure that the fishery is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of federally listed sea turtle species.
3. While Defendants’ own scientific data acknowledge significant numbers of illegal incidental takes of protected sea turtles by the recreational hook and line fishery Defendants have ignored this data and instead, arbitrarily and capriciously placed virtually the entire burden of sea turtle conservation efforts and regulation on commercial fisheries. The commercial fishery has been, and continues to be, highly regulated regarding conservation efforts directed at sea turtles. There currently exists no comparable management, regulation, or oversight for the recreational hook and line fishery despite knowledge of significant numbers of unlawful takes by these resource user groups. Case 4:14-cv-00138-D Document 1 Filed 08/05/14 Page 2 of 19
4. By failing to respond to documented threats to sea turtle recovery and continuing to authorize, approve, and license recreational hook and line fishery without observation, oversight, documentation, or regulation of sea turtle takes, Defendants continue to violate the ESA and its requirements to utilize its authorities in furtherance of species conservation and prevent the illegal taking of protected sea turtles.
II. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
5. This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 2201, 2202, and 16 U.S.C. §§ 1540(c) and 1540(g).
6. Pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 1540(g), sixty (60) days notice of the violations alleged in this Complaint was provided to Defendants prior to the filing of this action.
7. Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1391(e).
8. Plaintiff North Carolina Fisheries Association, Inc. (“NCFA”) is a non-profit corporation organized and existing under North Carolina law, with its principle place of business in Pamlico County, North Carolina. NCFA’s mission objectives include the study, promotion, and development of growth and conservation and use of fish, seafood, and other marine resources; to assemble and disseminate information with respect to conservation, preservation and use of products of the sea; to gather and disseminate information which will be beneficial to those engaged in catching, taking, preparing, preserving, distributing, or using any form of marine life; and, to cooperate with other organizations and state and federal agencies created for any of the foregoing purposes. NCFA members include, but are not limited to, commercial fishermen from all coastal counties in North Carolina, seafood dealers, processors, and distributors which are Case 4:14-cv-00138-D Document 1 Filed 08/05/14 Page 3 of 19