April 20, 2017 — A US federal appeals court judge has ruled against New England groundfish fishermen’s third legal attempt to do away with a law requiring them to bear the cost of at-sea monitors.
New Hampshire groundfish fisherman David Goethel as well as the non-profit XIII Northeast Fisheries Sector believe the law violates existing federal law.
Although Joseph Laplante, chief US district court judge, recommended further consideration of the fishermen’s plea — their second appeal attempt — he ultimately ruled the initial law suit was not filed in time to be legal.
Laplante ruled, on April 14, against fishermen “because we find that Goethel’s suit was not filed within the [Magnuson Stevens Act’s] thirty-day statute of limitations…” This upholds the reasoning of the previous appeal decision, also against the fishermen, dated July 29, 2016.
Goethel had argued that the 30-day salute of limitations embodied in the MSA does not apply to pre-enforcement review, whereas Laplante said it does, and that Goethel cited no authority permitting a waiver of that rule.