Friday, June 15, 2007

from the "no shit" department: hatchery salmon not the same as wild.

Grist mag has the details:
A federal judge in Washington state has overturned a contentious Bush administration policy that had tallied hatchery-raised fish as well as wild populations when determining the species' status under the Endangered Species Act. Under that policy, that a collection of green groups sued to overturn, upper Columbia River steelhead had been listed as threatened instead of endangered due to the inclusion of millions of hatchery-raised fish in making the determination. "The court concludes that in evaluating any policy or listing determination under the ESA, its pole star must be the viability of naturally self-sustaining populations in their naturally occurring habitat, " U.S. District Judge John Coughenour wrote in his decision. "To be sure, the inclusion of hatchery fish alongside natural fish ... strikes the court as odd." The ruling, welcomed by conservation groups, is at odds with a 2001 decision by another federal judge who ruled hatchery fish should be counted when determining a species' ESA status. Wednesday's decision is likely to be appealed.


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