Coastal Conservation Association – Reef Fish Litigation
Ball Janik LLP filed suit on CCA’s behalf in the United States District Court for the Middle District Of Florida, Fort Myers Division against Gary Locke, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) over the government’s implementation of an Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) system for commercial fishing of grouper and other reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico at the expense of recreational anglers. This is a record review case and it has been consolidated with a case brought by certain commercial fisherman denied IFQ permits. Ball Janik LLP is acting as trial lead counsel for CCA.
If successful, this case will cause a significant policy shift in the manner and method used by the government to develop and implement IFQ systems within the Gulf of Mexico and in all other fisheries subject to the jurisdiction of the United States government. The Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance and the Environmental Defense Fund have intervened on behalf of the government, and Food & Water Watch, Inc. has been permitted to file an Amicus Brief in opposition to the IFQ system. A briefing schedule has been adopted by the parties and summary judgment motions have been filed, with a hearing to be scheduled in March or April 2011.
Summary judgment motions have been filed and a hearing is expected sometime in the first-half of 2011.