[Coral-List] Can anyone explain this?

Eugene Shinn eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
Tue Sep 17 15:22:48 EDT 2013

Can anyone explain this. It says FWS (Fish and Wild Life?) but it is all 
about NMFS and Acropora. Any insiders know what the deal was $$ Gene


    FWS Settles With Enviro Group Over Fla. Coral Protection

By *Carolina Bolado*

Law360, Miami (September 13, 2013, 7:40 PM ET) -- The National Marine 
Fisheries Service 
<http://www.law360.com/agency/national-marine-fisheries-service> settled 
a suit in Florida federal court Friday with an environmental group that 
claimed the agency had failed to create a recovery plan for elkhorn and 
staghorn corals as required under the Endangered Species Act.

Under the terms of the settlement, the National Marine Fisheries Service 
committed to drafting a recovery plan by 2014 for the coral species, 
which were once the most abundant and important reef building corals in 
the waters of Florida and the Caribbean but have diminished by 80 to 98 
percent during the past 30 years.

In addition, the agency agreed to reclassify the corals as endangered, 
one step up from their current threatened status, according to the 
Center for Biological Diversity 
which brought the suit in the Middle District of Florida.

"A recovery plan and quick action to reduce carbon dioxide pollution are 
the two missing pieces necessary to save these beautiful corals from 
extinction," Jaclyn Lopez, an attorney for the Center for Biological 
Diversity, said in a statement.

The national environmental organization, which has an office in St. 
Petersburg, Fla.,*filed the suit 
<http://www.law360.com/articles/409981>* in January seeking a judgment 
that the Fisheries Service had failed to comply with the Endangered 
Species Act by not developing a plan for the two corals, which were 
added to the list in 2006.

The agency's policy is to come up with a plan for a species within 2 1/2 
years of a final listing, according to the suit.

The Center for Biological Diversity submitted the 2004 petition that led 
to the elkhorn and staghorn corals gaining protection as threatened 
species. The corals, which received a priority ranking of 3 on a scale 
of 1 (high threat and potential recovery) to 18 (low risk and chance for 
recovery), have been dying off from bleaching because of higher water 
temperatures. Increased ocean acidity levels, caused by carbon dioxide, 
have also hindered their growth, and they face additional threats from 
pollution, sedimentation, disease, boating and other human contact, 
according to the center.

Recovery plans have had high success rates, according to the center, 
which cited a 2012 study finding that 90 percent of sampled species have 
recovered at rates in line with the goals in their respective recovery 

The Center for Biological is represented by in-house counsel Jaclyn 
Lopez and Miyoko Sakashita.

The case is Center for Biological Diversity v. National Marine Fisheries 
Service et al., case number 8:13-cv-00221 
<http://www.law360.com/cases/5100112fa895c028720043e6>, in the U.S. 
District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

--Additional reporting by Nathan Hale. Editing by Melissa Tinklepaugh.

All Content © 2003-2013, Portfolio Media, Inc.

No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science Room 221A
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158
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