A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of Maine’s lobster industry, who were suing the Biden administration over fishing restrictions that they believed would be detrimental to their livelihoods. Despite the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) claiming that the restrictions were in place to protect the North American right whale, of which there are less than 400 remaining, the lobstermen believed the regulations were based on unfounded speculation of harm to the whales and would force them to reduce their traps by 50%.
— Unedited (@UneditedView) June 17, 2023
The Biden administration’s ‘worst-case scenario’ approach, based on unfounded speculation, was not seen as acceptable by the three-judge panel that presided over the case. Judge Douglas Ginsburg wrote the opinion for the panel and deemed the government’s reasoning to be “egregious” and not in line with conservation law. According to the panel’s ruling, the Endangered Species Act only requires that conservation policies take into consideration “likely” scenarios. Consequently, the government must consider the best scientific data available rather than the most extremely pessimistic data when making a decision. Additionally, the panel stated that the government failed to consider other “worst-case scenarios,” specifically those concerning the fishermen.
The joyful celebrations of the lobster fishermen were heard all the way to the Northeastern United States. They feel hopeful for their futures, as their industry has been suffering due to Biden’s flawed policies, and they were finally granted a victory. Meanwhile, Maine’s Governor Janet Mills, who belongs to the Democratic Party, joined the chorus of applause and called out the government’s “flawed” argument. It is good to see the courts standing up for the livelihoods of hard-working Americans, rather than serving as just another extension of the federal government’s increasing control over our daily lives.