Upholding Protective Regulations for Marine Wildlife and Habitats

U.S. federal agencies have been called the “headless fourth branch of government” - a name that speaks to the systemic lack of accountability plaguing agency decision-making. For marine wildlife, this disregard poses vast problems for marine wildlife. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decides to “downlist” the West Indian manatee, threating vital protections under the Endangered Species Act. The Department of State certifies that shrimp harvested from foreign nations may enter the U.S. market, sometimes in the face of overwhelming evidence suggesting illegal bycatch of sea turtles. The National Marine Fisheries Service issues a permit allowing the Navy to harass and injure cetaceans all around the world in the course of sonar exercises. The list goes on and on. At Sea Shepherd Legal, we relentlessly monitor agency action that threatens marine wildlife and habitat. When we perceive an abusive decision on the horizon, we do not hesitate to push back, marshalling science and law in defense of the oceans.

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