USA, et al v. State of Washington, et al

Filing 21454

ORDER REGARDING 2017 HALIBUT UNRESTRICTED SUB-FISHERY regarding subproceeding 91-1 by Judge Ricardo S Martinez. (RS)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 8 9 10 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Case No. C70-9213RSM 11 Plaintiffs, Subproceeding No. 91-1 12 14 ORDER REGARDING 2017 HALIBUT UNRESTRICTED SUB-FISHERY v. 13 STATE OF WASHINGTON, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 17 THIS MATTER initially came before the Court on the Quileute Indian Tribe’s Motion 18 for Temporary Restraining Order. Subproceeding 91-1, Dkt. #461.1 Quileute sought an Order 19 from the Court restraining the Tribes in this subproceeding from conducting the first sub20 21 fishery in the tribal halibut fishery until authorized by the tribal halibut management plan. Id. 22 The Court granted the motion, and directed all Inside Tribes to cease halibut fishing no later 23 than 6:00 p.m. on Monday, March 20, 2017. Dkt. #481. The Court further directed any Tribe 24 that had engaged in such fishing to report its catch, and ordered the Quileute to submit a 25 proposed plan for the initial unrestricted halibut fishery to the Court. Id. 26 27 1 28 C70-9213RSM, Dkt. #21421. All remaining citations refer to those documents filed in Subproceeding 91-1. ORDER PAGE - 1 1 The Inside Tribes have since reported their initial catches. Dkts. #481, #482, #484, 2 #485, #486, #489, #490, and #492. The total reported catch to date is 32,602 pounds of halibut. 3 Quileute has submitted a proposed order on behalf of the Coastal Tribes regarding the 4 initial unrestricted halibut fishery. Dkt. #487. The Coastal Tribes propose that the fishery 5 begin on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at 7:00 a.m. Id. The Coastal Tribes further propose that 6 7 they fish for 39 hours and that the Inside Tribes fish for only 11.5 hours. Id. The Coastal 8 Tribes assert that this plan sanctions the Inside Tribes for violating the halibut management 9 plan, and will ultimately increase the pounds available for fishing in the Late Season Sub- 10 Fishery, which will allow all tribes to harvest those pounds at that time. Id. The Inside Tribes 11 oppose the plan. Dkts. #491, #493, #494 and #495. The Inside Tribes note that they have 12 13 already lost time and money due to the temporary restraining order, and that the proposed plan 14 is nonsensical given that the Tribes fish in entirely different fishing grounds. Id. They further 15 note that the lost revenue will not fully be recovered even if the Inside Tribes are allowed to 16 fish for their remaining 28 hours of the unrestricted fishery. Dkt. #493. 17 18 The Court has reviewed the Coastal Tribes’ proposed plan, along with the Inside Tribes’ 19 objections, and the remainder of the record. For the reasons set forth by the Inside Tribes, the 20 Court rejects the Coastal Tribes’ plan for the remaining fishery hours, and instead hereby 21 ORDERS: 22 1. The Initial Unrestricted Halibut Sub-Fishery shall commence at 7:00 a.m. on 23 Wednesday, March 29, 2017, unless, in accordance with Management Measure 24 25 6.a and the 2011 Treaty Halibut Fishery Coastal Weather Criteria as interpreted by 26 the Court in its March 20, 2017, oral ruling and March 21, 2017, Order (Dkt. #481), 27 the subfishery is deferred automatically for one or more 24-hour period(s) because 28 ORDER PAGE - 2 the wind and wave weather criteria are met, or the four Coastal Tribes unanimously 1 2 agree to delay the unrestricted subfishery due to weather concerns and so inform the 3 Inside Tribes. If either of those delays occurs, then the unrestricted subfishery will 4 begin at 7:00 a.m. on the first day after March 29, 2017 when neither of these delays 5 occur. 6 7 2. The Coastal Tribes shall fish no longer than the 39 hours that this Court initially 8 scheduled as the duration for this fishery. The Inside Tribes shall fish no longer 9 than their remaining 28 hours of this fishery. 10 3. Pursuant to Management Measure 6(k), all Tribes shall report their catches from the 11 unrestricted halibut sub-fisheries in Sections 2 and 3 within 24 hours of their 12 13 respective closures of such fisheries. Pursuant to Management Measure 6(f), 14 following the closure of the Coastal Tribes’ initial unrestricted halibut sub-fishery, 15 there shall be a 48-hour reporting period so that that the Parties can complete catch 16 data collection, report the data and consider such information in managing the 17 remaining sub-fisheries. 18 19 4. The remaining sub-fisheries shall not begin until after the period specified in 20 Section 4, and shall otherwise be conducted in accordance with the terms of the 21 tribal halibut management plan. 22 5. Beginning June 1, 2017, this matter will be referred to U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian 23 Tsuchida to continue the settlement conference of January 3, 2017. The halibut 24 25 tribes shall work collectively to improve the halibut management plan, including 26 addressing the issues identified in the Court’s March 21, 2017 Order. The parties 27 will make best efforts to address these issues prior to the 2018 halibut season. 28 ORDER PAGE - 3 1 DATED this 27 day of March, 2017. 2 A 3 4 RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER PAGE - 4

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